FG Promises Improved Telecoms Services

Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu

The federal government has said that efforts are ongoing to have extra satellites to support the present Nigeria Communication Satellite (NIGCOMSAT) to improve quantum in the telecommunications industry.

The Minister of Communication, Dr Adebayo Shittu, spoke Thursday at the sixth regular meeting of the National Council on Communication Technology in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

Shittu said the major reason for the additional communication satellites was to reach areas that could not easily be covered by terrestrial fibre.

He said there was a positive increase in the number of active telecommunication subscribers with an increase from 148.70 million in August 2015 to 162.05 million as at September 2018.

According to the minister, this represents an increase of seven per cent.

Shittu revealed that the country’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in telecommunications had increased from $32 billion in 2015 to $40 billion in 2018.

The minister said that the percentage of internet penetration had reached a milestone of 48.44 per cent, making Nigeria second only to South Africa in the whole of Africa.

He reiterated the federal government’s resolve to use Information Communication Technology (ICT) as a way of economic diversification which would help in the nation’s economic recovery and massive employment generation for the teeming youths.

The minister spoke on the theme: ‘Leveraging on ICT as Veritable Vehicle for Economic Recovery and Growth.’

He said that ICT had really changed the way people communicate, learn and conduct business.

“The National Council on Communication Technology (NCCT) is the highest governmental policy advisory body in the ICT sector.

“The NCCT meeting enhances national intergovernmental coordination in the ICT sector and provides platform for networking and experiences sharing towards harmonised sector development,” he said.

The minister explained that the government had worked assiduously at improving the strategic ecosystem framework of the ICT sector through the development of policy instruments including the Nigeria ICT Roadmap and the National Addressing Policy.

He reiterated that government would continue to keep abreast of developments in the area of technology and its extensive influence and application to diverse sectors in Nigeria.

In his remarks, the Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun, while declaring open the meeting, said that the state was committed to sustaining an ICT driven environment, adding that it would always play significant role in his administration.

Amosun said that his administration would continue to work to channel the energy of youths into technology, calling on participants to deliberate and come out with initiatives that would make ICT to serve as weapon of mass development.

The governor urged the council to come up with a control mechanism to checkmate and curb illegal usage of social media platforms.

Amosun said that it would help the country, especially now that the nation was approaching the electioneering year. (NAN)