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Telecoms’ll drive Economic Diversification Agenda – Danbatta

By Stanley Iwuoha

The Executive Vice Chairman/CEO, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta says telecommunications industry has been positioned to drive the economic diversification plan of Federal government.

Prof. Danbatta made this assertion in his presentation to Course 29 Participants at the National Defence College, Nigeria, on Monday.

Speaking on a theme, “The Telecommumcations Industry and Nanonal Development in Nigeria: The Roles of the NCC in Promotmg Digital Economy”, he said, Telecoms sector is the life-wire that will drive the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) of the Federal Government.”

He noted that the sector plays a dual role of contributing to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and being an enabler to other sectors of the economy.

“Telecommunications is key to the diversification of the Nigerian economy, as the telecom sector played a dual role of contributing to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and being an enabler to other sectors of the economy.”

He bemoaned some of the challenges beveling the sector such as Infrastructure gap, Right of Way (RoW), Foreign Exchange, Vandalism of telecoms infrastructure, Electric Power Supply, Multiple Taxations and regulations.

The NCC boss appealed to states governments to key in to the success of the digital economy drive by reducing RoW fees and other charges targeting telecom service providers.

Prof Danbatta’s paper delved into a range of issues, including the correlation between broadband and GDP, telecom contribution to national development, telecom investment trend in Nigeria, telecom contribution to digital economy, conceptualisation of digital economy among others.

In his remarks, the Commandant of the National Defence College, Rear Admiral Mackson Kadiri appreciate the EVC, describing his paper as indepth, incisive and timely, giving the pivotal role the telecom sector plays in ensuring National Security and National Development.

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