The Association of Telecom Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), yesterday sought the support of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami for government financing of the Nigerian telecom industry, which is said to be presently contributing over 11 percent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

While commending the Minister for the commitment and the determination he has shown in addressing issues affecting the industry which has led to the industry’s growth and development since assumption of office, ATCON, an umbrella body of all telecom companies in Nigeria said such financing will lead to more growth, especially in the areas of broadband, which enables other sectors of the economy.

“We want to commend you for the great job you are doing since your appointment in addressing some of the challenges that have plagued the industry for a very long time. Notable among this is the progress made in Right of Ways and digitization of the economy,” ATCON said through its President, Engr. Ikechukwu Nnamani during a familiarization visit to the Minister’s office in Abuja.

ATCON requested that the Federal Government should create a separate financing structure for the telecom industry, just as it has been done for agriculture and other industries.

Such a financing structure, which will be tailored towards the need of the industry,  according to the advocacy group will be able to provide the right type of financing and ultimately, ameliorate some of the challenges of the industry.

Specifically, Engr. Nnamani believes recent events like the Covid-19 pandemic has shown that Nigeria depends largely on the telecom industry to survive. Ironically, the industry has struggled to get the right financing to build and expand infrastructures across the country.

“The time has come for Nigeria to set up a telecom industry finance scheme just as we have Bank of Industry, Bank of Agriculture and others. We need financial institutions that understand ICT and telecom services to be able to provide the right type of financing for the industry,” he explained further.

The National Executive Council of ATCON, led by its President, Engr. Ikechukwu Nnamani had paid a familiarization visit to the Communications and Digital Economy Complex, Abuja to formally introduce the newly elected officials of the association to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami.

According to ATCON, the strategic courtesy visit was put together to demonstrate the respect the Association has for the Minister and his office.

Responding, the Minister thanked the team for the visit and appreciated the recognition of the work he and his team have been doing. He informed the Association that his doors are always open to listen to their needs and areas he can support them to be efficient in service delivery to the country


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