In a bid to achieve the 70 percent national broadband penetration target by 2025, the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, is seeking foreign telecom companies to invest in infrastructure development.
The EVC made the call at the just concluded inaugural edition of the Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX) 2023, in Marrakesh, according to the statement by the Director of Public Affairs, Reuben Muoka.
Danbatta who was represented by the Team Lead, of the Nigeria Office for Developing the Indigenous Telecom Sector (NODITS), Babagana Digima said the nation presents a stable political and economic condition.
Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and Nigeria’s Ambassador to Morocco, Mansur Bamalli, who also spoke in the same direction, commended the Commission for its regulatory prowess which has made Nigeria the next investment destination in Africa.
Danbatta, said the Commission has a mandate to facilitate the development of the telecom industry in Nigeria, adding that one way through which this can be done is by attracting foreign investors that will further enhance the growth of the economy.
He informed the global stakeholders at the event that the Nigerian government has been very supportive of the telecom industry which has achieved upward growth with over 220 million active mobile voice subscriptions in Nigeria, over 150 million Internet subscriptions, and broadband penetration of 48 percent, the country is yet to be fully connected.
“Our national plan is to achieve 70 percent broadband penetration by 2025. We still have less than 50 percent penetration.
“This means there is huge investment potential for investors. Nigeria’s telecom sector needs more investment in the area of infrastructure deployment,” the EVC stated.
He stated that the telecom sector in Nigeria has become a major contributor to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), quarter-on-quarter, driving the growth of the digital economy in the country.
“The importance of this event for us as a Commission is to showcase the NCC as a Nigerian brand, a foremost telecom regulator in Africa and beyond and to bring about the much-needed investment that will enhance the development of the Nigerian telecom industry,” Danbatta said.
The EVC stated that there is abundant talent in Nigeria that can be tapped by investors to support their business operations.
“Abundant human resources are waiting to be harnessed by potential investors for ground-breaking global technological innovations and advancement in providing digital solutions.
“This event provides us with the platform to showcase some of the talents that we have discovered in Nigeria. The Commission has sponsored three indigenous start-ups that are at this event to display their solutions for prospective investors and partnerships,” he said.
The GITEX Africa 2023 was the maiden edition of the GITEX Global Summit held in Africa. It is poised to be Africa’s most influential forum to accentuate the vast potential of a tech-driven digital economy.
It aims to be an international platform for cutting-edge technology for all players from both the public and private sectors.