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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

ATCON resuscitates NICOMM, plans Pan-awards

In the bid to resuscitate the Nigerian Communications (NICOMM) exhibitions and conferences, its organisers the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) has announced a new date for NICOMM 2007.

Disclosing this to newsmen in Lagos at the weekend, ATCON president, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, said that NICOMM 2007 would hold in October in Lagos.

Champion Infotel recalls that since the unexpected murder of ATCON’s immediate past president, Chief Alaba Joseph in his office in 2005, several efforts have been made to bring NICOMM back to life with the last one described as a flop by stakeholders.

This is coming as ATCON’s proposed one-day Stakeholders’ summit on energy and power, has once again been shifted till August this year.

Dr. Ekuwem said that the NICOMM event scheduled to take place at the Musical Society of Nigeria (MUSON) Centre, Onikan-Lagos, would hold on October 22 – 24, 2007.

“This edition is the 12th in the series of annual international exhibitions and conferences organised by the association,” he said.

He stressed that NICOMM-07 promises to be a mega event judging from the repackaged initiatives ATCON has given to the event.

He also said that ATCON took the decision to ensure that NICOMM measure up to international standards by introducing innovations that would attract more serious local exhibitors and multinational participants, sponsors, and visitor as well as guests.

“We have visited international shows in Europe and Asia and have made useful observations that will help us improve the standard and value of NICOMM events in the best interest of participants. The lessons we have learnt will manifest in our management of NICOMM 2007,” he declared.

He cited for instance, the collaboration with commercial sections of foreign embassies to organise trade delegations from their respective countries to participate in the NICOMM 2007.

This, he said would make it the biggest telecom/ICT event in West Africa since its inception in 1994. According to him, these trade delegations would take up Country Pavilions where they would showcase their best technologies, products and services which they offer in the global telecom/ICT market.

Equally, Dr. Ekuwem noted that there would be opportunities for special product presentations and demonstrations as well as private meetings by visiting exhibitors and sponsors with potentials local partners, dealers or country representatives.

“Opportunities will also be created for state governments wishing to attract more ICT investments to their states to showcase investment opportunities and incentives to local and foreign investors at the expo,” he said.

Dr. Ekuwem also said that ATCON at its Annual General Meeting (AGM) gave the National Executive Council (NEC) of the association approval to organise a joint stakeholders meeting to fashion out a Pan-industry Information and Communication Technology (ICT) awards.

The meeting expected to cut across ATCON, Association of Licensed Telecom Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Global System for Mobile Association (GSMA), Internet Service Providers Association of Nigeria (ISPAN), Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON), Information Technology Association of Nigeria (ITAN) and Nigeria Internet Group (NIG) among others, to discuss the modalities and set the agenda for the pan-industry awards.

This, he said, was agreed upon to curb the prevalence of Telecom/ICT Awards in Nigeria. “We are still worried that except urgent positive steps are taken to address the situation, ICT awards in Nigeria may soon lose credibility ad public respect,” ATCON noted, adding that plans are up to host such awards that would be of international standards and recognition.

He further said that ATCON is not unmindful of the genuine efforts of leading industry media that have instituted awards to honour companies and organisations that have contributed immensely to the rapid growth of the telecom/ICT sector in the country.

“Their initiatives have been very commendable and ATCON appreciates the laudable work they have been doing. You will recall that ATCON itself instituted in 1996 the Nigerian Telecom Merit Awards to recognise individuals and companies that pioneered development in the deregulated telecom sector in Nigeria,” he said.

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