Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Nigeria - Minister calls regulatory environment as second to none Africa

[daily champion] The Minister of State for Information and Communications, Mr. Labaran Maku has described the Nigerian telecommunications regulatory environment as second to none in the African continent.

The minister who was speaking through the Acting Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Bashir Gwandu, at the recently concluded second West African Information and Communications Technology (WAFICT) 2010 congress in Lagos, attributed the exponential growth in the industry to the steady regulatory environment in the country.

"The NCC has adequate and professionally competent manpower enjoying adequate funding and full government support to operate independently. This has attracted regulatory bodies from other parts of Africa to Nigeria. The performance of the Nigerian telecoms market is second to none in Africa," he said.

Earlier, the Director of Programme, Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO), Mr. Bashir Patel, said Africa remains a hotbed for investment, adding that exports from Africa increased from $40 billion in 1990 to $140 in 2004 and that global ICT spending is estimated at USS 3 trillion.

Mr. Patel who spoke on the theme: Moving West Africa forward: policy and technology imperatives, said the continent does not have the required penetration yet, just as he said there is a big digital divide in the country.

"Rural teledensity still remains one per cent for both mobile telephony and even lesser for internet and broadband connectivity," he lamented.

Patel implored mobile operators to move to rural areas and not just the urban because penetration is still low, adding that it as a circle that must be broken.

On the way forward, he called for technological convergence, continued IP and mobile growth, growth of digital radio, IPTV, multipurpose ICT terminals as well as policy and regulatory convergence and local content generation.

Others are user generated contents as Utube, Myspace, Facebook, and development of national fibre networks, national ICT and egovernment action plan, provision of ICT incubators as well as local content and application development.

"Currently Nigeria has potential in agriculture but many of her products are wasted because nobody gets to know about them, he said

Nigeria: Healthy Regulatory Environment Key to Telecoms Sector Growth - Maku

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