Experts Harp on Integrated Power Solution to Enhance Broadband Plan


Nosa Alekhuogie

Experts in the telecommunications and power sectors recently converged to deliberate on possibilities of integrating power solutions to achieve the Nigerian Broadband Plan (NBP) and bring about shared prosperity through the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The maiden event which held in Lagos, was attended by stakeholders in the telecommunications and power sectors.

The Power and Telecommunications Synergy Conference, sponsored by IHS Nigeria and organised by Thistle Praxis was designed to address issues such as building harmonised regulations, investment sourcing and optimisation of returns for broadband infrastructure.
The conference titled: “Power and Telecommunications Synergy: Building Strategic Alliances for Broadband Penetration and Inclusive Prosperity”, gave participants the opportunity to engage in constructive and interactive sessions on the the Nigeria’s broadband plan with industry experts and decision makers in the technology sector.

In his welcome address, Senior Vice President/ Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder, IHS Nigeria, Mohamad Darwish, said: “The conference was strategically designed to provide insightful and constructive solutions to help achieve the nation’s vision for broadband growth and inclusive prosperity. The telecommunications sector is of ultimate importance to the economic growth of Nigeria. We are excited to be part of those broader solutions emerging from the power and telecommunications sector to address the country’s major challenges and those of West Africa at large.”

Darwish also stressed the need for both private and public sectors to collaborate on driving forward innovative solutions that would enable Nigeria to meet its growing demand for broadband connectivity.

“As of March 2019, according to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), broadband penetration in Nigeria was pegged at 33 per cent with a planned increase to 70 per cent target, which will require everyone’s efforts. This endeavour is too complex to be addressed solely by governments, operators or society. This needs to be a shared goal. We must all work together to achieve connectivity nationwide.” Darwish said.

The Executive Vice Chairman, NCC , Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, who was represented by the Assistant Director and Head, Broadband Units, Special Duties Department, Babagana Digima, said: “We are thrilled to have been a part of the conference. Platforms like this are essential to both the growth of the industry and the overall economy. Prior to 2001, when Nigeria’s telecommunication sector was deregulated, Nigeria had only approximately 400,000 lines and was unable to meet the growing demand for telecommunications services. Since then, the telecoms industry has witnessed significant growth and progress, but it is important that we collectively seek ways to further improve the telecoms sector to drive opportunities and investments.”

The Chairman, Nigerian Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC), Professor James Momoh, said: “The power and telecommunications sectors are key economic pillars in Nigeria. Paying attention to their growth and development will only further the diversification of our economy. The conference was enlightening in terms of the various ways in which we can expand within and outside of our industry. It addressed key concerns that will ultimately lead to a better understanding of both industries. It provided insight through engaging sessions with experts, which I believe will have significant impact in the near future.”

The conference hosted the largest gathering of experts within the power and telecommunications industry, with a view to ensuring the continued development of Nigeria’s telecommunications industry.”