The Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, has stated that NCC will not relent in the promotion of latest and emerging technologies to energize businesses and engender growth in the sector to the benefit of the country and its 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 the Nigerian economic activities, transforming the way people live and work as well as increasing efficiency in other sectors of the economy.
According to the EVC, the Commission is committed to driving the deployment and adoption of emerging technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT), utilisation of value of Big Data, Blockchain, Robotics and Virtual Reality, FINTECH, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Telemedicine, among others, to stimulate greater contribution of the sector to the economy.
He said it is also gladdening that telecoms has been an enabler of Nigeria’s economic growth and development as it contributes substantially to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“From $500 million investments in the sector as at 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 teledensity of 110 per cent, as at August 2022.
“The sector has provided over 500,000 formal and informal jobs for Nigerians. From an insignificant contribution to GDP in 2001, telecoms sector, as at 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”, he said.
The EVC went further to point the way forward: “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 actualization of the set targets in the Federal Government’s digital economy policy.”
He noted that with the rapid digital transformation happening through telecommunication sector, the country will be in a better position to create 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.