The eight CEOs of some of the best firms in the information and communication technology [ICT] who spoke at the Nigeria ICT Impact CEO Forum and Africa Digital Awards including Engr. Abiodun Omoniyi, MD/CEO, VDT Communications, Engr. Ike Nnamani, CEO, Medallion Limited, Femi Adeoti, MD/CEO Africa Operations, Inlaks Limited, Olusola Teniola, President, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Ferdinand Moolman, CEO, MTN Nigeria, and Funke Opeke, CEO, Main One, examined several topics and stated that:
- The extent of urbanization in Nigeria is still abysmally low, adding that about 51.4% or 99million of Nigeria’s population live in rural areas.
- Nigeria is the 8th country in the world with highest number of internet users, 98 million from 93.6 achieved in 2017 with penetration level of 48.8% (in view the population of 191.8million) and that no other country in Africa have this growth nor is among the top 20 globally.
- The current level of broadband penetration according to Nigeria Communications Commission[NCC] was put at 22%,
- Interconnection is ideal for a multi-operator telecom market, to promote competition, makes future regulatory regime like number portability possible.
- Interconnection will lead to expansion of services in remote locations and higher subscriber base, better quality of life.
- Broadband in Nigeria has come a long way from the 340 gigabyte total capacity of SAT 3 single international submarine cable system in 2001 to about 11TB (with capacity for 19TB) and that competition and regulatory initiatives have also further increased penetration.
- Broadband and internet have been globally acknowledged and inextricably linked as the foundation for a sustainable economy and an enabler for sustainable development for wealth optimization, job creation and revenue increase.
- Lack of infrastructure especially electricity, increases the cost of doing business, which in turn limits the availability of funds for expansion efforts.
- 5G network infrastructures will be a key asset that would support societal transformation, leading to the fourth industrial revolution impacting multiple sectors.
- Recent estimates posit that the 5G value chain itself could support as many as 22 million jobs worldwide.
- The total contribution of 5G to real global GDP from 2020 to 2035 is expected to be around $3 trillion: equivalent to an economy the size of India.
- 5G will form the basis of an ecosystem of financial and socio-economic sensors; blurring geographic and operational borders beyond anything we have ever seen.
- The NCC has done a lot of developmental works in the area of regulation and standards but noted that there are still gaps to fill.
- National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is raising the standards in specific segments that relates to IT, software development and procurement.
- If the regulators and industry players work-out standards and regulations that are not detrimental to growth, the Nigerian telecom and ICT sector would become a friendly destination for huge further investment and this would lead to more revenue for government and job creation for the teeming Nigerian youths.
- Adult population of 96.4million, about 40.1million adults is financially excluded.
- The solutions to financial inclusion must be relevant, appropriate and affordable for the entire adult population, especially the low income segment
- Financial exclusion has manifested prominently in Nigeria with the bulk of the money in the economy staying outside the banking system.
- Financial institutions (including the mobile money operators) do not have sufficient market intelligence that can create access to the under-banked and unbanked population.
Co-ordinator, Nigeria ICT Impact CEO Forum and Africa Digital Awards
Publisher, ICT Watch Magazine
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