ATCON confirms Pantami, Danbatta, Abdullahi, others’ participation in forum to address ICT/Telecom stakeholders’ needs

*Forum to articulate investment-friendly industry regulations for development of digital economy

*Stakeholders to design a road map for effective ICT and Telecom service delivery to consumers

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

In the buildup to its forthcoming virtual forum on the necessity of addressing the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) stakeholders and consumers’ needs in the era of Coronavirus and post-COVID-19 pandemic cum digital economy period in Nigeria, the Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) says it is pleased to keep the entire industry stakeholders abreast of preparations for the maiden edition of the sectoral virtual programme.

The Association’s virtual sectoral forum, which is slated for Thursday, August 6, 2020, at 10a.m. on Zoom, will be broadcast live on Facebook as well as other social media platforms, with registration at: https://forms.gle/JVnFApRMF71MSnPf8.

Earlier in his invitation and subsequent tentative programme of events, Mr. Olusola Teniola, President of ATCON, said the strategic objective of the important sectoral forum is to converge the regulator’s interests in order “to ensure a competitive telecom market and fast-track development of telecom industry.”

The forum is also to address the industry operators’ interests in respect of enjoying an enabling environment for businesses and protection of investment in the sector, as well as satisfaction of the consumers’ interests in terms of quality of services, affordability and access for sustainable digital Economy development in Nigeria, stated Teniola.

Mr. Ajibola Olude, Executive Secretary of ATCON, in a recent statement made available to ConsumerConnect, said the forum with the theme: “Meeting the Interests of Government, Consumers and Telecom & ICT Companies in the Era of COVID-19 and Post COVID-19 Pandemic for Digital Economy Development”, is being organised with a view to achieving the new broadband target of 70 percent penetration in the country.

According to the statement, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, Honourable Minister for Communications and Digital Economy is expected to present a keynote address on theme of the Forum with a special focus on the Ministry’s policy directions.

Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and Mr. Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) would constitute the panelists from the government establishments.

Both Prof. Danbatta and Mr. Abdullahi will be making presentations on the theme of the event with a special focus on what the NCC and NITDA are doing in respect of enhancing the lot of consumers of ICT and telecom products and services in the nation’s economy, according to the statement.

Olude said: “We have the following representatives from the angles of those that represent consumers in Nigeria: Prof. Chiso Ndukwe-Okafor, Executive Director, Consumer Advocacy and Empowerment Foundation (CADEF); Mrs. Sola Salako-Ajulo, President/Founder, Consumer Advocacy Foundation of Nigeria (CAFON); and Mr. Bayo Olugbemi, FCIB, President/Chairman of Council, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN).

“Prince Igho Majemite, Chairman, Industry Consumer Advisory Forum (ICAF); Chief Adeolu Ogungbanjo, National President, National Association of Telecommunications Subscribers (NATCOMS); Mr. Rasak Adekoya, Programme Lead, DFID Inclusion Works, Sightsavers.”

Others notable participants in the forum are Comrade Moses O. Igbrude, Chairman, Consumer Rights Awareness Advancement and Advocacy Initiative (CRAAAI) and Prince (Amb.) Sina Bilesanmi, National President, Association of Telephone Cable TV and Internet Subscribers of Nigeria (ATCIS), and their role is to give feedback on Telecoms and ICT Service delivery, said ATCON’s Executive Secretary.

Representing the companies in the provision of ICT and Telecom services in the country are Mr. Biodun Omoniyi, Managing Director (MD)/Chief Executive Officer (CEO), VDT Communications Limited; Mrs. Abimbola Alale, Managing Director, NIGCOMSAT; and Prof. Muhammad Bello Abubakar, MD/CEO, Galaxy Backbone.

Mr. Oyaje Idoko, Managing Director, Layer3 Limited; Mr. Toba Obaniyi, Vice-President, Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA); Mr. Mohammad Darwish, Managing Director, IHS Nigeria Limited; and Mr. Abayomi Adebanjo, General Counsel, MainOne Cable Company Nigeria Limited, are other key participants representing ICT/Telecom service providers.

ATCON stated that their role is to inform Nigerians about what their organisations are doing to meet the needs of consumers as more people come online in recent times.

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