The Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), the influential trade group of telecoms companies in Nigeria, has backed President Muhammadu Buhari’s choice of Barrister Adebayo Shittu as Minister of Communication for the country.
Shittu Adebayo a lawyer by profession was assigned the portfolio of the Communication Ministry by the President on November 11, this year.
Responding to the President’s choice, Engineer Lanre Ajayi, President of ATCON says the body has a strong conviction that the new Minister is equal to the task ahead of him in making remarkable milestone within the next four years.
‘’With the opportunity we had to meet the new Minister, he came across as someone who is willing to listen, work hard and has shown a lot of enthusiasm. He has also proved that he is passionate about development of the sector”, says Ajayi.
“I believe we are lucky to have him. He has identified some of the issues on ground and he has promised stakeholder engagements”, Ajayi told attendees at the 4th edition of the Africa Digital Awards , an event organised by ICT Watch Network.
ATCON wants the new Minister to continue with the policies of his predecessor especially the National Broadband Policy 2013-2018, which envisions promoting 30 percent broadband penetration by 2018.
”Continuity on policies is an important one. The fact that there is change of government does necessarily mean we should have a change of policy. The Broadband Policy is adjudged to be good. I don’t think there is need to change that policy’’, Ajayi adds.
In his welcome address, Akinwunmi Ambode, Executive Governor of Lagos State reiterated the commitment of his administration to deepen broadband penetration in the state, especially the on the issue of granting right of way to telcos in Lagos.
Ambode, who was represented by Jide Adenuga of the Ministry of Science and Technology, Lagos State, said ”our administration is keen using broadband to drive development in areas such as education health, e-government. For this reason, we have a MoU for a pilot project with one of the leading provider of broadband services in the country to drop points in all government institution around Yaba axis while granting right of way to this company to lay fiber optic cable.”
According to him, the state has taken key measures to ensure free flow of broadband penetration in Lagos State.
The Lagos State Secretariat has a broadband connection with two leading companies while 40 public schools, six educational districts, the State School of Nursing at Igando and several other institutions has been connected to the broadband link.
The Governor’s representative says adds that, “all these and many more we plan to do in pursuit of our objective and commitment to integrate Lagos economy in the mainstream of global competiveness.”
The event saw Lagos state win the ICT Infrastructure State of the Year while Mr Yemi Adepetu of The Guardian Newspaper won the ICT Editor of the Year while Engr Emmanuel Ekuwem clinched the ICT Man of the Year Award.