President of ATCON, Mr. Olusola Teniola

Emma Okonji

The 1st Vice President of the Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Mr. Olusola Teniola has said that massive deployment of broadband will address the rising rate of unemployment in the country.

Teniola, who spoke in Lagos recently, therefore called on the federal and state governments to encourage ubiquitous deployment of broadband across the country, insisting that the measure will help Nigerian youths to take advantage of the opportunities of the internet, especially in e-commerce business.

“Nigerian government needs to leverage more on the communication technology sector to solve the problem of unemployment in the country because the revenue from the oil and gas sector has been on a steady decline since early 2015 and the government recurrent expenditure has remained relatively unchanged,” Teniola said.

According to him, over 20 years ago, ATCON campaigned for the liberalisation of the telecoms sector, and today, the sector has contributed significantly to the GDP of Nigeria, in terms of employment generation, both direct and indirect employment, and revenue generation.

He further stated that one of the ways to assist members of ATCON was to see them as partners in progress by granting them some tax reliefs which would positively impact their businesses.

Teniola also appealed to all tiers of government in the country to work with all telecommunications companies to remove all the bottlenecks mitigating against pervasive broadband penetration in Nigeria. He said some states have already bought into the smart city initiatives and they are already reaping its benefits. He therefore enjoined the remaining states to also key into the initiatives that would ultimately make their states smart.

“We cannot talk about e-medicine, e-health, e-government, e-transport, e-commerce and e-education when some states cannot boast of reliable internet. We can only imagine but cannot say specifically the effects or impact of broadband penetration thus far. We still have some way to go,” Teniola said.