Dele Ogbodo in Abuja
The Chairman, Zenith Bank Plc, who is also the founder Jim Ovia Foundation, Mr. Jim Ovia, wednesday attributed the lack of efficient broadband required for speedy telecommunications service as one of the reasons Visafone was sold to South African telecommunications firm, MTN.
He did not however disclose how much the outfit was sold to MTN.
Speaking at the Digital Africa conference and exhibition 2016 organised by Digital Africa Global Consult in Abuja, Ovia stressed that without adequate technology infrastructure to power constant connectivity, Internet of Things (IoTs) would be difficult to achieve.
He said: “We have a lot of devices some of which will be dead equipment. Connectivity is very important and without it, internet of things or internet of everything cannot take place. I wouldn’t say that connectivity is the most important thing, but it is extremely very important.
“In some of this connectivity you need it by way of broadband or by way of fibre optics to give you the broadband or may be a wireless. Or may be the spectrum of between 700-800 MGHz that gives you the broadband speed that you need today, and so you can now understand why Visafone eventually sold its network to MTN.”
According to him, the reason there were so many complaints was because of the resource availability that Visafone had, which had to do with the broadband, he added.
He said policymakers must ensure that Nigeria is not left behind in the technological development of the future, adding that during the great industrial revolution, Africa was left behind.
Ovia added that the present technology that enables economy to flourish is so pervasive that nobody can be restricted as students can now have access to information like their counterparts in South Africa, Russia and other places in the world.
In his remark, the Minister of Communications Technology, Mr. Adebayo Shittu, who was represented by the Director of Information and Communications Technology (ICT), Mrs. Moni Udorh, said the administration would not fail in using ICT to drive the economy.
The minister said: “We have been doing everything possible in this direction. If we continue on this path, ICT should be contributing between 20 and 30 percent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in few years’ time. We will strive to make it happen.”
On government’s plan to establish an ICT University, he said: “We also have plans to create ICT-focused university. We have discovered that many of the youths lack requisite skills to compete in the international market. The university will bridge the skills gap.”
While making his contribution, the Chairman of Digital Africa Consult, Mr. Evans Woherem, said since inception of the annual event in 2013, global ICT experts have been provided a platform in the annual event to highlight the avalanche of challenges inhibiting Africa’s efforts at embracing evolving technologies and proffer solutions on how to get out of this digital doldrums.
He said: “The conference provides access to a captive audience eager to understand where the consumer ecosystem currently is, and where the opportunities lie. Also, it is an important platform to network, share knowledge on the latest developments in the technology ecosystem, do business, and sign deals.”
According to him, the 2016 edition has as its theme accelerating Africa’s Development through Internet of Everything (IoE). He added that suddenly, the Internet of Things or Internet of Everything has become the revolutionary technology trend in the world today.