NCC’s Danbatta: Telecoms can deliver 25% to Nigeria’s GDP by 2025

NCC’s Danbatta: Telecoms can deliver 25% to Nigeria’s GDP by 2025

NCC’s Danbatta: Telecoms can deliver 25% to Nigeria’s GDP by 2025

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Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, the new chief of the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) says the telecoms sector can contribute 25 percent to Nigeria’s GDP by 2025.
However, this can only be realised if the industry is committed to putting a robust plan with long, medium and short-term measures to attract and sustain investments, the telecoms regulator says.
Danbatta, who was represented by Tony Ojobo, Director of Public Affairs at NCC dropped this charge in Lagos at the 2015 Nigeria Telecom Impact CEO Forum, a forum that brought together top C level executives to assess the impact of telecoms on business and the economy.
Danbatta says an enabling environment would ensure that the telecoms sector contributes 25 per cent to the country’s GDP by 2025.
“The telecom regulator is desirous of the ICT sector contributing even more than 25 per cent to GDP by 2025. At the current contribution estimated at 10%, this implies achieving additional 15 per cent over the next ten years”, the NCC chief told the technology forum.
“In the ICT sector, it is all about investments. It could be investments in infrastructures, content, human capital, and supportive infrastructure availability, especially power as it relates to this sector”, he adds.

[blockquote right=”pull-right” cite=”Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, EVC of NCC”]“The telecoms regulator is desirous of the ICT sector contributing even more than 25 per cent to GDP by 2025. At the current contribution estimated at 10%, this implies achieving additional 15 per cent over the next ten years.”[/blockquote]

NCC’s Danbatta: Telecoms can deliver 25% to Nigeria’s GDP by 2025
Mr Emeka Mba, Director General of National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) at the event
According to him, “it is well-known that Nigeria’s telecoms sector is one of the fastest-growing in the world. Telecommunications is obviously leading as the aggregate Foreign Direct Investments from 2007 to 2013, ranked it as a contributor of 24 per cent of such projects.”
Additionally, between 2011 and 2013, telecommunications sector attracted about US$6 Billion worth of investments which has accelerated ICT contributions to an estimated 10 per cent, translating to some US$50 Billion.
According to Danbatta, “the role of the telecoms regulator is to continue to provide type of environment that will continue to encourage investment and growth. There is no doubt that this is the reason for the exponential growth in active subscriber statistics of more than 150 million lines and teledensity of 107 per cent.”
But for the telecoms regulator, “this is not comparable with less than 500,000 lines in 2001. It is not by accident that more than 80 Million Nigerians have access to the Internet today. These are products of robust regulatory processes.”
He says that a lot of premium is being predicated on broadband availability in driving the nation’s contributions to the GDP in the distant future.
“A strategic plan is in place, and it projects achievement of 30 per cent of broadband penetration by 2018. If this is achieved, it surely would fast-track the contribution of the ICT sector to GDP.”
He reckons that broadband will energize the sector and the economy and most of the activities in the industry will be e-driven.
‘’As a regulator that has been able to supervise the industry that led to the attainment of 10 per cent contribution to GDP, we shall continue to provide the enabling environment to attain the prediction of 25 percent by 2025.
‘’The NCC is currently engaging the Nigeria Governor’s Forum (NGF) with a view to removing the barriers to infrastructure deployment such as fiber optic cables, BTS, and others from their states. Tax friendly policies should be encouraged and Right of Way (RoW) need to be addressed.”
Also speaking in the same vein, Ernest Ndukwe, CEO of Open Media and ex-EVC of NCC says that Right of Way is a critical aspect the government should look into, “if we would attain the projected 25 percent GDP by 2015.”
According to Ndukwe, “there have been many companies that have applied to put cable infrastructure in Lagos at no cost and what they need is right of way.”
The former EVC of NCC says that, “if that was done 10 years ago, Lagos would have been the most advanced ICT environment in Africa and any refusal to do that is holding the country down.’’
He opines that, “if you have all these infrastructure in Lagos, many businesses both local and international, would have their base in Lagos because broadband is key to any business of today’s world.’’
According to Ndukwe, “if  Ambode could do this, he would be remembered for a very long time as a man who came, saw and conquered.”
‘’My advice is that regulatory bodies must be pro-enterprise and focused on consumer protection”, he adds.
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Kolade Akinola Technology Journalist at Technology Times Mobile: + 234 (0) 807 401 6027