By Oluwatobi Opusunju
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is to partner the Nigerian Industrial Policy and Competitiveness Advisory Council (NIPCAC) to advance the development of the telecommunications sector. This was made known this week in Abuja after a delegation from the Council headed by Edirin Akemu visited the commission.
The meeting by the two bodies explores partnership and collaboration to enhance the health of Nigeria’s telecom sector of over 140 million subscribers and investment in excess of $500 billion. NIPCAC’s roles include helping to inject vim into economic players in corporate Nigeria.
“The Nigerian telecommunications sector, the second most vibrant sector of the economy after oil with a promising potential for employment, economic growth and development remains to be deeply exploited,” said Akemu.
“The commission welcomes partnerships and collaborations with all relevant sectors – government and private enterprises that will enhance performance in the telecommunications industry,” said EVC/CEO of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta.
The telecoms sector, last year alone, attracted over $68 billion to the economy in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and boasts of about N1.54 trillion contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the second quarter of 2017 despite the fundamental issues plaguing the sector at the moment, such as over taxation, Right of Way (RoW), infrastructure vandalisation and theft amongst other things which have all hampered the growth of the sector and are capable of scaring investors out of the market.
Despite the challenges, experts and industry stakeholders believe the telecom sector could do ten times more than its current capacity if government ensures an improved business environment to boost investors’ confidence.
NIPCAC) was inaugurated May 30, 2017, by Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo, while serving in the capacity of the Acting President to help in transforming the industrial sector of the economy while its primary objective is to assist the government in formulating policies and strategies for implementation to enhance the performance and industrialization of the nation.
The inauguration of the council came as part of government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) to resuscitate the failing economy and having identified technology as a cash cow, the council was strategically put in place to turn Nigeria into a manufacturing hub for West Africa, and facilitate the diversification of the economy to end dependence on oil revenue.
The council is made up of leaders in the private and public sectors and chaired by Osinbajo, while the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, and President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, serve as vice-chairmen, representing the public and private sectors, respectively.