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ICT industry witnessing incredible growth, says Pantami

ICT industry witnessing incredible growth, says Pantami
June 15
19:46 2022

Isa Pantami, minister of communications and digital economy, says Nigeria’s information communication technology (ICT) industry has recorded incredible growth, leading to socio-economic development not just in the country but also across Africa.

Pantami said this during a tea break session hosted by Nigeria on the sideline of the ongoing 2022 International Telecommunication Union’s World Telecommunications Development Conference (ITU-WTDC) in Kigali, Rwanda.

He said Nigeria had continued to record impressive growth in its ICT sector and acknowledged the support of the ITU in Nigeria’s strides in the sector.

The minister said the records can be seen in the last 20 years as Nigeria has achieved robust growth in its telecoms industry where it went from less than half a million connected telephone lines to over 200 million active mobile lines as of April 2022.

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Pantami, who was represented by Ubale Maska, executive commissioner, technical services, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), added that the broadband penetration in Nigeria is now 42.79 percent.

“Nigeria has utilized ICT as a driver of socio-economic development not just for herself, but also for the benefit of the sub-region and continent, given its role as a founding member and strategic sponsor of the West Africa Telecommunications Regulators Assembly (WATRA),” he said.

“As a country, we have grown from second generation (2G), to 3G, 4G and now the 5G is about to come on board after conducting a globally-acclaimed transparent auction and awards of two 5G licences. Also, the country has implemented vigorous financial inclusion initiatives riding on robust digital infrastructure.

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“Many achievements of Nigeria in the area of ICT development have been possible through the successful launch and implementation of policies that foster use of ICTs across all sectors to enhance a digital economy.”

Pantami further highlighted the remarkable role Nigeria’s long-standing membership has played in the ITU.

He said the country played a role in chairing the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) 2022, chairing the World Radiocommunications Conference (WRC) 2015, and chairing of ITU Council Standing Committee on Administration and Management (SC-ADM) in 2019 and 2022.

“Nigeria has also chaired the Ad-hoc Committee on ITU Regional Presence, served as chair and vice-chair of several study groups; and provided financial support to the ITU headquarters,” he added.

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He further said Nigeria hopes to have the privilege and honour to continue to serve in the forthcoming ITU Council cycle (2022-2026).

Pantami applauded the government of Rwanda for hosting this year’s edition of the conference on behalf of the African continent.

The tea break was attended by senior officials of the ITU, including Houlin Zhao, secretary-general, as well as representatives and heads of delegations from different countries attending the annual conference.

On his part, Zhao, commended Nigeria’s role and contributions as a member of ITU Council.

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He also solicited the support of other member countries for Nigeria’s membership in the next cycle 2022-2026.

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