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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Odey leads FG delegation to ATCON‘s energy summit-07

The newly appointed minister of Information and Communications, Mr. John Odey, is to lead the federal government delegation to this year’s energy and power summit being put together by the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) in Lagos.

The summit scheduled for Friday, August 24, this year, according ATCON President, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, would have Mr. Odey presenting a keynote address at the occasion.

He also said that the event to be presided over by the Minister of State for Energy (Power), Mrs. Fatima Balarabe Ibrahim, would be graced by the Minister of Science & Technology, Mrs. Grace Ekpiwhre and Minister of State for Energy (Petroleum), Mr. Henry O. Ajumogobia, both would be attending as special guests and are expected to deliver goodwill messages to the participants.

He also informed that a good number of key players in the energy and power sector as well as operators in the telecommunications sector and other important economic sectors of the national economy are being expected to participate in the event.

In addition, he said, other dignitaries billed to make special presentations include the Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, Chief Executive, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Dr. Ransome Owan and Chief Executive, MTN Nigeria, Mr. Ahmad Farroukh.

Equally on the line-up of special presenters are the Managing Director, L M Ericsson Nigeria, Mr. Lief Edwall, Mr. Maduabuchi Uche of NetTel@Africa Nigeria Group and Managing Director, Orun Energy Limited, Mr. Kwabena R. Smith.

Dr. Ekuwem explained that providers of alternative energy and power solutions who have already indicated interest to participate in the summit would equally make technical presentations.

“There will also be a mini exhibition of alternative/renewable energy and power solutions at the summit,” he said.

As said by him, a panel of selected experts will lead discussions on the technical papers presented by the resource persons and those invited on the panel include Mr. Chioke Ogugua, Chairman, GSM Association Nigeria; Chief Chima Onyekwere, Chairman/CEO, Linkserve Limited; Engr. Gbenga Adebayo, Chairman, Association of Licensed Telephone Operators of Nigeria (ALTON); and Engr. Sam Adeleke, President, Internet Services Providers Association of Nigeria (ISPAN).

Other panellists, he said, would include Mr. Lanre Ajayi, President, Nigeria Internet Group (NIG); Dr. Chris Nwannenna, the immediate past President, Nigeria Computer Society; Engr. Titi Omo-Ettu, Chief Executive Officer, Executive Cyberschull; and Engr. Adebayo Banjo, Chief Executive Officer, Disc Communications Limited and first Vice President, Association of telecom companies of Nigeria (ATCON).

He recalled that recently the House of Representatives held a Public Hearing on quality of GSM services in Nigeria, the poor state of Nigeria’s energy and power sector was identified by telecom operators and even the NCC as a major factor militating against quality service delivery by telecom operators.

“This event is therefore very crucial to every player in the telecom industry in Nigeria, and in deed other economic sectors, as the summit seeks to proffer lasting solutions to the problems posed by expensive energy and epileptic power situation in Nigeria,” Dr. Ekuwem noted.

He stressed that every stakeholder should be very concerned about this common problem, which has the potential of crippling every sector of our national economy if urgent solutions are not put in place.

“It is common knowledge that the telecom as well as energy and power sectors pool a good number of engineers whose expertise should become very useful at this time when the federal government of Nigeria is showing the political will to tackle the energy and power crisis with seriousness of purpose to save our national economy from total collapse,” he said.

He urged for all hands to be on deck to ensure that the energy and power crisis is checked within the shortest possible time.

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