Nigeria to Woo New Investors at ITU Telecom World 2018


Emma Okonji

Riding on the crest of the successes the country recorded in the South Korea-hosted International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Telecom World 2017, Nigeria’s planning committee for the 2018 edition of ITU Telecom World holding in Durban, South Africa in September this year, has been inaugurated.

The focus of the planning committee, according to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), is to woo new investors that would invest in the country’s broadband plan.

The theme of ITU Telecom World 2018 is “Innovation for smarter Digital Development”.

Announcing the inauguration, the Director, Public Affairs at NCC, Mr. Tony Ojobo said this year’s participation would focus on attracting new investors to the much sought broadband segment of the sector. These investors will deepen Nigeria’s quest for pervasive broadband whose penetration level currently stands at 22 per cent.

Expectedly, the Nigerian delegation will be led by Communications Minister, Chief Abdulraheem Adebayo Shittu; the Chairman of NCC Board, Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye; Nigeria’s Chief Telecoms Regulator and Executive Vice Chairman of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta; industry stakeholders, telecoms operators; and Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), among other players.

In 2017, NCC won the ‘Most Valuable Partner’ for its commitment and participation at ITU Telecom World events over the years, while Nigeria got a certification of appreciation for the ITU Telecom World 2017 national and thematic pavilion as well as loyal participation and supporters of the yearly ITU Telecom World events over the years.

Nigeria also won government award for being the government with the most innovative Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (SMEs) included as part of the nation’s pavilion.

No fewer than five SMEs/innovators made the final ITU global list for SMEs/innovators awards. Three of them made the honours list.

ITU Telecom World 2018 is an election year of the annual event. Nigeria will be contesting for two positions: the ITU Administrative Council and the Director, in charge of the Bureau for Telecommunications Development (BDT) which Mr. Williams Ijeh is contesting for.

In April, Danbatta presented Nigeria’s position at a dinner for ITU Secretary General, Mr. Houlin Zhao, officials of the global regulatory bodies, ministers, regulators and global dignitaries in Geneva Switzerland.

Danbatta told the high profile audience that Nigeria remained one of the highest financial contributors to ITU in the African region and is a major player in ITU Telecom World activities for many years and therefore solicits for support towards its aspirations.