Nigerian government to tackle telecommunication challenges

Na'ankwat Dariem, Abuja


The Nigerian government has reiterated its commitment to resolve challenges faced by the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON)

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami stated this at the Dinner party organised by ATCON to welcome the Minister into office following his appointment.

Some of the challenges include vandalism, site closure and difficulties in access to sites due to security challenges, over taxation by states among others.

Pantami said the Ministry had made presentations on the issues regarding the industry to the Federal Executive Council (FEC), the Chief Security Adviser of the country, and the Attorney General of the Federation, a week ago.

He disclosed that the ministry will set up a committee headed by Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC and other agencies under the ministry to document and provide solutions to the   challenges in the sector.

I had the privilege of receiving most of the stakeholders on courtesy visit, I listened to the challenges facing the industry and I gave them my commitment to use the chance I have to make a difference. Last week one of the issues we are have been receiving regards the industry, was presented federal executive council which was chaired by the President. The issues where presented to this body since it’s the most relevant platforms, and actions are being taken to resolve the issues.
I have been in touch with the Attorney General of the Federation, and even today he sent me reply to me seeking for more clarification on the executive order,” 
he said.

While thanking the association for its kind gesture, the Minister encouraged the association to put hands on deck, work together and always be in touch so that the industry would go higher, saying that his doors were always opened for advice, recommendation, suggestions and constructive criticism.

Most of your challenges are known to me and I will take it upon myself to ensure that after every 24 hours we would make a progress in resolving the issues, am more of a reserved oriented person. We should keep in touch where necessary, so that we would know the challenges through drawing our attention to issues that are very important. We should engage in constructive criticism, we are public officers and we welcome to constructive criticism. I am more appreciative and thankful as well and I pray to Almighty to reward you immensely, and I will remain grateful forever,” he said.

In his remarks, the President of ATCON, Mr. Olusola Teniola, to work with the ministry in order to create an industry that would attract huge investments where innovation creates an eco-system smaller and larger operators can co-exist.

Mr. Teniola disclosed that ATCON will soon organise a National Dialogue on Telecom and ICT in Nigeria, with the aim to foster the implementation of Digital Economy in Nigeria saying that the information on this proposed event would be shared with all concerned later.

Teniola assured that the association would continue to advocate in a manner that was professional, mature and objective, which not only protect but promote the business of its teeming members in Nigeria.

The association would collaborate, corporate and partner with the ministry to realise the set broadband target of 75 per cent in the documents within the next 5 years. He noted that it would help the association remove, collectively those obstacles that were working against the growth of the industry.” He added.