Pan African Towers Positions to Bridge Network Connectivity

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Oluchi Chibuzor
The Pan African Towers (PAT) has reiterated its commitment towards providing quality network connectivity to underserved areas in Nigeria and beyond.

Speaking shortly after receiving an award on behalf of the company at the 2020 Nigeria Business Leadership Awards, the Brand Manager, PAT, Okim-Alobi Oyama, said, the indigenous telecommunication infrastructure firm was committed to provide high quality network connectivity to underserved areas in Nigeria and beyond.

Oyama, revealed that in a recent research conducted by Datareportal, about 58 per cent of Nigerians were unable to access the internet as a result of the unavailability of the adequate infrastructure that would foster this connectivity.

He stressed that a lot of these people live in areas across the country where access to network connectivity is challenging as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic miniaturised the world even further as it gave rise to a surging use of data and calls.

“In spite of this surging demand, there were people who stood at a loss, who could not communicate or could not have access to quality education as a result of the impact of the coronavirus since schools were shut down in the country.

“They were people who were further disconnected from the world because the infrastructure that they needed to communicate was not available. Their access to quality education, healthcare, banking services and other key areas of the economy was in serious jeopardy due to the absence of the infrastructure that will foster their access to these services.

“We want to be able to put a smile on people’s faces when they are able to attend classes online, transact businesses using their banking apps without stepping a foot into the bank, have access to quality healthcare regardless of where they are and perform other fundamental activities that will ease their way of living.”

Pan African Towers has in two years worked persistently to shrink the telecom infrastructure gap capped at $136 billion through erecting adequate telecom infrastructures across the country and has built more than 1300 cell towers in Nigeria and Ghana and is innovatively working to increase the figure in the next five years.

When asked what challenges businesses face in Nigeria, Okim responded that access to power, taxes, multiple fees, access to Forex and vandalisations are some of the critical challenges hindering the telecom sector.

“Uniformity in the implementation of the Right of Way (RoW) charges in every state as it would help reduce CAPEX and the savings re-channeled into more capital investments in telecom infrastructure.

“About five states had implemented the reduction of the Right of Way charges with Ekiti state, taking the lead on this. If other states do not follow suit and reduce RoW charges to the agreed charges of about N145 per metre of fibre cable, it will amount to a high cost of building telecom infrastructures which will delay the move to bridge the telecom infrastructure gap in the country sooner,” he said.