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Thursday, September 19, 2019

ALTON reassures Minister of support, demands attention on telecom challenges - ITREALMS

The Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), has reassured the Minister of Communications, Dr. Ali Isa Patanmi, demanding that he gives attention to issues retard ease of doing business in Nigeria’s telecom sector, reports ITREALMS.

ALTON, is an industry body of all licensed telecommunications operators in Nigeria and is duly registered under the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and recognized as an industry representative by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and other Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

According to ALTON, access to basic communications services have transformed personal and business productivity, enhanced governance and facilitated security services delivery in the country.

“There is no gainsaying that Information Communication Technology (ICT) also has a direct impact on the performance of Government at all levels.

“The ICT Sector accounts for approximately 10% of nominal GDP as against 2016 with a direct contribution of over N1.549trn to the economy. Our sector consistently accounted for over 30% of Nigerian Foreign Direct Investment since its deregulation in year 2001. It is pertinent to state that the ICT Sector has created over 20,000 direct and 1.5 million indirect jobs since its deregulation in 2001.

As said by ALTON, despite the above milestones, it is of great concern to stakeholders that the ICT sector is still operating below its potentials, as it is faced with fundamental challenges militating against network enhancement and development as well as inadequate infrastructure to support broadband roll out.

Specifically, ALTON in the letter endorsed by its chairman, Otunba Gbenga Adebayo, noted that the provision of first class telecoms service in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja has been hampered by the refusal of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) to grant permits to our members to build infrastructure.

“Despite concerted engagement, FCDA has maintained that due to the need to maintain the Abuja Master Plan, it will not grant approval to our members to build new sites in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja,” the group said.

ALTON pointed out that without adequate infrastructure, the provision of qualitative telecommunications services cannot be guaranteed.

“We, therefore respectfully invite you to use your good office to liaise with the FCDA to identify suitable locations for new sites build by our members to ensure the provision of qualitative telecoms service in FCT and environs,” he said.

In addition, ALTON emphasized that more base stations are needed for more resilient infrastructure and other elements to support stable telecom operations. Lamenting that, however they were faced with a number of issues for which require intervention of government at the highest level.

Chuks Egbuna/Editor

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