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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

ICT Broadcasters’ roundtable coming

Plans have been advanced for the holding of a one-day ICT Broadcasters Roundtable early next year.

Disclosing this, the Co-ordinator of the programme, Mr. Tayo Adewusi said the time is auspicious for stakeholders in the nation’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to speak with one voice.

Adewusi also said that the roundtable would have as sub-theme: What is the best option for Nigeria’s ICT sector going forward? Is it open and free access to all and every investor? Or is the best way to develop a strong local content policy?

“If there is any time that Nigeria’s ICT stakeholders need to come together and speak,” he said on free access to broadcasting and local content.

A press statement from the organisers, Nigeria ICT Broadcasters Network and made available to ICTRealms Online quoted Adewusi as saying that the success recorded in the telecoms sector in Nigeria has put the country in the global map as one of the countries with best regulatory environment.

“As Ernest Chukwuka Ndukwe the agent of this success story is set to leave the apex telecoms regulatory body, concern is to what becomes of the industry are coming up and there are other questions regarding the sustenance of the growth and surpassing the gains recorded in the past eight years,” he said stressing that these questions must be provided answers to.

The event organizers expressed the belief that bringing important stakeholders together to a discussion would indeed raise the bar in the discussion on the best way forward and this could help the government in arriving at the best policy option.

He pointed out that with the tremendous strides achieved in the sector in the last 10 years, many industry stakeholders had involved themselves in the evolving debate on how best to move forward.

To some, he said, Nigeria should continue to leave its doors open to investors in the sector who could own their businesses 100 percent, get tax holidays and repatriate their profits back to their countries 100 percent.

Equally, he said, there are those who hold the opinion that foreign involvement and investment in Nigeria’s ICT sector is becoming oppressive and destabilising local efforts.

This school of thoughts believe that having opened the doors to all manners of foreigners, whether Africans or otherwise, who had taken advantage of such opportunities to the detriment of the nation, the time has now come for Nigeria to evolve and more appropriate policy suitable to the current realities with a sight to a local content.

“Such a policy should also take into consideration the expertise of Nigerians in the field as opposed to what the case was between 1999 and 2000,” he declared.


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