The executive vice chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta has stated that the commission will not relent in the promotion of the latest and emerging technologies to energise businesses and the sector in Nigeria for the benefit of the country and her citizens.
Speaking to a cross-section of stakeholders at the just-concluded Cyberchain Abuja 2022, Danbatta said the telecom sector has been a key booster of Nigeria’s economic activities, transforming the way people live and work as well as increasing efficiency in other sectors of the economy.
Danbatta said the commission is committed to driving the deployment and adoption of emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), utilisation of value of big data, blockchain, robotics and virtual reality, fintech, artificial intelligence (AI), telemedicine, among others, to stimulate the greater contribution of the sector to the economy.
He said it is also gladdening that the telecommunications sector has been an enabler of Nigeria’s economic growth and development, contributing substantially to the gross domestic product (GDP).
“From $500 million investments in the sector as of 2001, the telecommunications industry has recorded over $70 billion investment till date, while the growth in the sector has been phenomenal, from some 400,000 functional phone lines in 2001 to over 209 million active mobile subscriptions, achieving a tele-density of 110 per cent, as of August 2022.
“The sector has provided over 500,000 formal and informal jobs for Nigerians. From an insignificant contribution to GDP in 2001, the sector, as of the last quarter of 2021, contributed 12.61 per cent to GDP, while the information and communications technology (ICT) sector as a group, has also contributed 18.44 per cent to GDP as at the second quarter of 2022.
“For us as a country to reap the full benefits of all these emerging technologies in ways that further spur growth in our national economy, NCC prioritises the need to improve and expand broadband infrastructure and the deployment of new technology such as the fifth generation of mobile communication (5G). Our efforts in diligently driving this will facilitate the actualisation of the set targets in the Federal Government’s digital economy policy,” he said.
A statement by the commission’s director of public affairs, Reuben Muoka said Danbatta noted that with the rapid digital transformation in the sector, the country will be in a better position to create an alternate economy for diversification, innovation and creativity in e-commerce and digital entrepreneurship, thus empowering a significant number of the populace to become self-reliant and self-employed.