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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Nigeria’s teledensity soars above 50% – Ndukwe

•Bags NITTA award, 37 others too

Chief executive officer of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Ernest Ndukwe had identified two outlines for African growth at this 21st century, just as Nigeria has joined the League of Nations with teledensities of over 50 per cent.

Ndukwe who delivered the inaugural lecture at the African Telecom Hall of Fame, which formed part of the 2009 edition of the Nigerian Information Technology and Telecom Awards (NITTA-09) organised by IT & Telecom Digest in Lagos, last weekend, noted that two major infrastructure components must be embraced with precision if Africa would catch up with other parts of the world.
Also, Ndukwe, bagged the Pillar of Telecom in Africa award at NITTA-09 alongside 37 others at various categories.
These include efficient and reliable public electric power supply as well as pervasive, reliable and modern Information and Communications Technology, infrastructure and services.
"I have identified as pivotal for Africa to improve its standing in the global reckoning are: Efficient and reliable public electric power supply and pervasive, reliable and modern Information and Communications Technology, infrastructure and services," Ndukwe said.
He also expressed believe that if Africa could get these two infrastructure components right, the other factors of economic growth and development will fall in line and the continent would firmly be on the path of major economic growth.
"With respect to the ICT infrastructure component, the wave of market liberalisation that swept across the world in the last decade has positively impacted the continent and nearly all African countries except Ethiopia, have opened up to private local and foreign investment in the Communications sector," he said.
In keeping with this vision, most African countries have embraced market reform and liberalisation resulting in several notable success stories, thus providing useful examples for other developing nations to emulate.
In the last eight years, several African countries have been part of this revolution propelled mostly by digital mobile services and with the licensing of competitive operators across Africa, the growth has been geometric.
"In Nigeria, for example, an average growth of over 8 million lines per annum has been recorded from 2001 to 2009," he revealed.
ICTs, he said, have been widely acknowledged as presenting copious opportunities for the creation of unprecedented economic growth for Africa, pointing out that most African governments have demonstrated the political will necessary to foster an environment conducive for investment in this sector.
He said, most African countries, therefore, have progressed to a period of communications boom that have opened up new possibilities and frontiers across business, political, social and economic landscape.
"Indeed there has been a revival in the telecom industry and history has been made. A recent report by Wireless Intelligence puts the mobile subscriber base in Africa at 280 million users by the end of March 2008. The African continent has thus surpassed North Armenia in terms of mobile subscribers with US and Canada polling 277 million users only," he noted.
Equally, he quoted Wireless Intelligence as reporting that Africa is the world's fastest growing mobile market today with 38 per cent growth in 2007, putting Africa ahead of the Middle East 33 per cent and Asia Pacific 29 per cent.
"Within continent, the Republic of South Africa had over the years maintained a lead as Africa's largest telecom market by subscriber numbers until January 2008, when Nigeria took over the lead as Africa's largest telecom market in terms of number of connected lines," he said.
He recalled that the Nigerian revolution began in August 2001, when two newly licensed digital mobile operators rolled out services in competition with the incumbent, Mtel.
A year later in 2002, a second national operator was licensed which subsequently rolled out mobile services in 2003. The combined inputs of the digital mobile operators and the fixed wireless operators licensed earlier have contributed to what is now generally referred to as Nigeria's telecommunications revolution.
"Since then, the nation has not been the same. Telephone signals tones can be accessed in all the States of the Federation; Nigeria has joined the League of Nations with Teledensities of over 50 per cent; internet usage is now common place in several cities across the country. Computer labs with internet connectivity have dotted several schools, colleges and tertiary institutions.
Also in the area of local value added, computers are now assembled locally with local brand names and specifications. Software developers have also been active in providing some of the needs of the ICT industry, even as recharge cards for multifarious communications services are manufactured locally.
Meanwhile, other winners at the eight edition of NITTA comprised the e-Health Medical Centre of the Year - Herzliya Medical Centre Nigeria (HMCN), Nigerian Telecom CEO of the Year – Maher Qubain, Best GSM Operator of the Year – MTN Nigeria, Corporate Social Responsibility Company of the Year – MTN Nigeria, Best Marketing Campaign of the Year – Etisalat, Fastest Growing GSM Company of the Year – Etisalat, Best Customer Care Company of the Year – Zain Nigeria, Best CDMA Company of the Year – Starcomms, Best Internet Product of the Year – IZAP – by Starcomms, Best New Telecom Investor of the Year – Telkom SA, Best VSAT Company of the Year – Netcom Africa, Best Internet Company of the Year – Direct on PC, Best e-Bank of the Year – Zenith Bank, Best People-Oriented Telecom Company of the Year – Globacom, Telecom Personality of the Year – Funke Opeke, Pan African Telecom Company of the Year – Globacom, E-Payment Company of the Year – Interswitch, Pillar of Telecom in Africa - Ernest Ndukwe, Diamond Award: Best Communications Minister - Cornelius Adebayo.

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2 comments:

gprofessionals04 said...

This is a great step ahead for the development of the nation. In current scenario many countries are focusing on telecommunication revolution. They are investing high and really getting good results out of it.
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Anonymous said...

Lucky to u........................................