Ogungboye: Infrastructure Devt Bank Necessary for Telecoms Growth

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Emma Okonji

The need for the establishment of a telecommunications infrastructure development bank for the information and communications technology (ICT) sector has been re-emphasised, just as the federal government has been urged to consider the setting up of such bank, to further boost telecoms growth and contribution to GDP.

The Managing Director, e.Stream Networks, Mr. Muyiwa Ogungboye, who restated the need for telecommunications infrastructure development bank, said the move would not only enhance telecoms growth, but would also increase the contribution of the ICT sector to GDP.

According to him, such bank would provide the necessary financial support for telecoms operators that would assist them in network expansion and upgrade, instead of relying on money deposit banks, whose interest rates are on the high side and inimical to business growth.

Ogungboye spoke at the just concluded IPV6 training event held at the Lagos City Chamber of Commerce, organised by the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) and co- sponsored by e.Stream Networks.
He urged the government to look into setting up a Telecoms Infrastructure Development Bank where local ICT firms could access loans easily at minimal interest rate.

“It has become quite a challenge to compete with foreign investors. The establishment of the telecoms infrastructure development bank will also provide local Internet Service Providers (ISP) with special facilities to support the government’s broadband penetration vision through infrastructure expansion. “We will be glad to meet given terms and conditions as long as they are realistic and provides us the opportunity to compete with foreign investors. The government should remember that in every economy, there is a concept of protect-your-own but the current commercial bank interest rates do not encourage our own to thrive. This Infrastructure development should be embraced, created and sustained.

President of ATCON, Mr. Olusola Teniola, also aligned with Ogungboye’s views for the establishment of telecommunications infrastructure bank, saying that Nigerians have become addicted to connectivity and things are becoming impossible without internet connectivity. “ICT is an integral part of the economy and one would think that there would be a bank to integrate and sustain the industry. Unfortunately, the facilities given by the commercial banks in Nigeria are short term and have proven harmful for the industry” he said at the IPv6 press conference.

e.Stream Networks is a leading broadband connectivity solutions company located in Lagos, with over eleven years of connectivity provision in Nigeria, the Managing Director, lends his voice and registered his organisation’s commitment towards ensuring the government’s broadband penetration target is achieved under favorable conditions for the local ISPs.