The new president of Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Ike Nnamani, said he will rejig the association of over 160 telecom and IT companies to make it more industry focused and stakeholders inclusive while commending his immediate predecessor.
“First, I must commend our immediate past president – Engr. Olusola Teniola for a great job he has done in taking the association to the current level. A lot has been achieved in the last four years he was at the helm of affairs. The new exco will continue the great work the former exco did. Most of us were members of the former exco in various capacities so there is legacy knowledge of the operation of the association that remains. We also have some new members in the exco so that will bring new ideas and make the association stronger,” said Nnamani in an e-interactive session with IT Edge News.
Modernizing operations of the secretariat in line with realities
Nnamani said ATCON will strengthen its secretariat to make it more engaging for members with other stakeholders.
“We will modernize the operations of the secretariat to be in line with present day realities for efficient and cost-effective operations. The Covid-19 pandemic has revealed that organizations should be structure for remote operations when it becomes impossible to work in a physical office location. We will be upgrading our secretariat infrastructure to ensure operations and meetings can happen remotely including future AGMs if needed.
“We will also ensure the secretariat staff are well trained and equipped to be able to handle the changing and progressive nature of membership and the industry in general. About two years ago, we developed a financial sustainability plan for the association and so far, the implementation of the plan has made the association financially stable and in a good place financially. We will continue with the implementation of the plan.
ATCON’s current leadership assumed office last year and he recently led his EXCO (Executive Council) on a courtesy visit to regulators and policy makers in Abuja, Nigeria’s administrative capital.
He and his team interacted with the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami; Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullah; and the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, as part of the agenda to deepen relationship with Abuja.
ATCON remains non-political and business focused
In Abuja, Nnamani stressed that ATCON will remain a non-political and business focused body open to engaging governments at all levels for the growth of the industry.
“A constructive engagement with the relevant government agencies helps to reduce friction and ensure that areas of disagreement on any policy or guidelines are resolved in a timely manner,” said Nnamani, CEO of Medallion Communications Limited, an interconnect clearinghouse and co-location data service company. He is leading ATCON with more two decades of experience managing a private telecom entity in Nigeria and navigating the politics of the sector.
He added: “While we interact regularly with the government either directly at the federal, state, or local governments or through any of the government agencies and regulatory bodies, we remain non-political. Our engagement is limited to ensure the telecom and ICT space in the country is well served. We will maintain constructive engagement with all arms of government for the growth of the industry.
“Our approach is to engage with the government; have cordial meetings where we point out the social-economic benefits that having a robust telecom and ICT infrastructure in the various states brings to the people of the state. This has made the state government to now see telecom and ICT service providers as partners in the provision of dividends of democracy to the citizens and who should be supported to establish services in the various states. This has been a win-win for all parties involved.”