Stories by Raheem Akingbolu
Beyond celebrating the contribution of individuals and organisations to the growth recorded in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector, stakeholders, including top government functionaries and traditional rulers have pointed out that the organisers of the Nigeria Telecom Awards have endorsed the platform as a rebranding tool for Nigeria and the ICT sector in particular. It has also been established that the rewarding scheme has taken award to an international standard.
At the 2016 edition of the award, held in Lagos recently, Minister of Communication, Adebayo Shittu and the Ooni of Ife, Enitan Ogunwusi, both established that the event was a good tool for positioning. Adebayo, who said the Nigerian telecoms industry is now valued at over $38billion in investment profile, attributed the growth to contribution of individuals, who have been steadfast in their support for the industry.
Ooni of Ife received accolades from guests and industry players, who saw his presence with scores of Yoruba leaders and traditional rulers, as unprecedented. Managing Director, Absolute PR, a Public Relations firm, Akonte Ekine described the presence of the foremost traditional ruler as huge endorsement for the award. “To me, this year’s edition of the award and the winners are special. Aside the fact that government was well represented, the presence of Olu-Aye Oodua, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi was symbolical. It simply means that the award has been endorsed by all stakeholders,”
Earlier, the supervising minister of the industry had stated that the sector’s huge contribution to the economy and the combining efforts of stakeholders to encourage participation is impacting the image of the country positively.
He attributed key drivers of the evolution and development of the industry to proactive and responsive policies and therefore tasked stakeholders to work harder to attract more foreign direct investments. According to the minister, the award has encouraged telecoms companies to up their game and give consumers the best.
The minister therefore tasked the awardees not to rest on their oars. “This should be an incentive to invest in the industry and also invest in the discovery and utilisation of the new skill and talents at all level.
He further said that the digital revolution is under way, can and must be harnessed to create development revolution. “We can do this together through stronger partnership and enhance cooperation with all stakeholders to fully integrate the leverage ICTs and broadband for sustainable development of our country.”
Shittu admitted that ICT had provided unprecedented facility and opportunities for Nigerian in other to leapfrog into the knowledge-driven global economy and enjoy the benefits of socio-economic development offered by the post information age.
In his comment, the Managing Director of Logical Media Group, the organiser of the award, Otunba Biodun Ajiboye said his team has been able to organise the award for 14 years because of the support being given by industry stakeholders. To this end, he commended the minister and Ooni of Ife as well as top management team of various organisations, who threw their weight behind the event.
“While I commend members of my team for the journey and the quality of the award, I must confess that we have gone this far because stakeholders in the industry believe in us. I hereby promise that next year would be bigger and stronger in terms of quality and representation. This year, I think it will be laxity on my part if I fail to commend the contribution of our minister, the Ooni of Ife, the Executive Secretary of NCC and operators who stood by us,” he said.