Mr. Olusola Teniola, President of ATCON

ATCON confirms Pantami, Lalong, Danbatta, World Bank, others’ attendance at Telecom/ICT National Dialogue October 15

*Adoption of digital resources by all stakeholders would eventually make Nigeria to join the league of 20 top global economies

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

The Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) has informed the entire distinguished stakeholders in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and telecoms ecosystem and Nigerians at large of the new date for the National Dialogue on Telecommunications and ICT Sector in the country.

Mr. Olusola Teniola, President of ATCON, in a statement said the event with the theme: “Harnessing the Digital Resources for the Building of Our National Economy” is slated for Thursday, October 15, 2020, at NAF Conference Centre, Abuja, FCT.

The Association stated that the well-thought-out conference is being organised to further grow and position the entire sector of the Nigerian economy exponentially.

“Thought leaders in the sector are expected to come up with brilliant ideas as to what the public and private sector can do to maximise the benefits inherent in the digital economy such that the recent fall in Nigeria’s GDP can be reversed.

“The recent Index of Digital Quality of Life positioned Nigeria in the pursuit of digital economy and ranked as 20th position at the beginning of the survey (Nigeria is currently ranked 81st),” said the statement.

ATCON also stressed that it is “pleased to announce the confirmation of the following very important personalities to grace the event: Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, Honourable Minister, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy; and Rt. Hon. (Dr.) Simon Bako Lalong, Executive Governor of Plateau State.”

Other important personalities confirmed for attendance at the event are Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); and Mr. Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, Director-General/CEO of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).

Mr. Shubham Chaudhuri, Country Director (Nigeria) of the World Bank; Mr. Segun Ogunsanya, Managing Director/CEO of Airtel Networks; Mr. Alan Sinfield, Managing Director/CEO of 9mobile; and Mr. Trevor Liuyan, CEO of Huawei Nigeria, and several others have also been confirmed to grace the occasion.

In respect of the prime objective of the conference, ATCON said that “this National Dialogue on Telecoms and ICT is targeted at changing the structure of the country’s development through the maximum utilisation of digital resources.”

By so doing, “the Federal Government, state governments, and other key stakeholders in the Agriculture, Education, Oil & Gas, Health, Industry, Trade and Investment, Security and Defence Sector would leverage the outcome of this event to improve their contributions to the nation’s GDP.

“The preposition above is based on effective collaboration amongst the different sectors of the economy as we all know that collaboration is the essential to competition,” it noted.

The Association stressed that the supply side, which is comprised of telecom and ICT companies and the demand side which is made up of all the ministries, states, local governments, Nigerians and non-Nigerians are expected to have higher level of productivity on the condition that they adopt and leverage the opportunities presented by the digital economy to improve their output.

It stated: “This strategic dialogue plans to bring together the Presidency, National Assembly, relevant Federal Ministries, State Governors, ICT State Commissioners, Telecom and ICT Companies, World Bank and other international relevant agencies.

The underlining strategic objectives of the proposed National Dialogue, it added, are as follows: “To intentionally channel collaborative positive efforts toward Nigerian Digital Economy with the sole aim of accelerating our economy’s performance in relation to other leading African countries;

“To serve as a forum to discuss the recently launched documents on Digital Economy and take stakeholders input for implementation;

“To optimally x-ray the factors that have worked for and against the telecom and ICT sector in Nigeria; and

“To discuss regulations and policies around AI, IoTS and Blockchain and the rest,” it said.

It further disclosed that thought leaders in the Telecom and ICT industry have been invited to do justice to the following panel sessions, including ‘Digital Economy in Nigeria: Challenges and Opportunities’; and ‘Private Public Partnership and Development of Mechanism for the seamless Management of Inter-Ministries and Agencies: an imperative for Broadband Infrastructure Development in Nigeria’.

Other sessions are ‘National Funding and Investment Strategy for Broadband Infrastructure and Digital Economy: The Importance of Education and Awareness’; and ‘Regulation on Emerging Technologies (AI, IoT, Robotics, Blockchain, etc): Leveraging on Nigerian Young Population’s Innovation and Creativity for National Development”.

“There shall be a special sectoral discussion tagged: “Harnessing Digital Resources for Sectoral Effectiveness and Efficiency for National Development,” ATCON noted in the statement.

Among the discussants in the special session are Malam Adamu Adamu, Honourable Minister for Education; Dr. Osagie Ehanire, Honourable Minister for Health; and Alhaji Mohammed Sabo Nanono, Honourable Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development.

Others include Major-General Bashir Salihi Magashi (Rtd), Honourable Minister for Defence; Chief Timipre Sylva, Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources; Otunba Richard Adeniyi Adebayo CON, Honourable Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment; Alhaji Muhammad Musa Bello, Honourable Minister for Federal Capital Territory; Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, Honourable Minister for Transportation; and Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, Honourable Minister for Works and Housing.

Among other overriding deliverables of this national dialogue on Telecoms and ICT sector is that the adoption of digital resources by all the aforementioned sectors towards attaining marked development that would eventually make Nigeria to join the league of the 20 top global economies, said the Association.

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