First Vice President of the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Mr. Olusola Teniola has said that the shortest way to create multiple jobs for Nigerians is the massive deployment of broadband infrastructure.
Teniola said “the Nigerian government needs to leverage more on the communication technology sector to solve the problem of unemployment in the country because the revenue from the oil and gas sector has been on a steady decline since early 2015 till date”.
He noted that the government’s recurrent expenditure has remained relatively unchanged in line with decreasing oil receipts, stressing that “Over 20 years ago, ATCON campaigned for the liberalization of the telecoms sector, today, the sector has contributed significantly to the GDP of Nigeria, in terms of employment generation (both direct and indirect) and revenue generation”.
ATCON First Vice further, stated that one of the ways to assist members of ATCON was to see them as partners in progress by granting them some tax reliefs which would positively impact their businesses.
While appealing to all tiers of government in the country to work with all telecommunications company by removing all the bottlenecks mitigating against pervasive broadband penetration in Nigeria, Teniola noted that some states have already bought into the smart city initiatives and they are already reaping its benefits. Top in the list of states that have keyed into the smart State Initiative include Lagos, Bayelsa, Osun and Akwa Ibom.
ATCON therefore enjoined the remaining states to also key into the initiatives that would ultimately make their states smart. We cannot talk about e-medicine, e-health, e-government, e-transport and e-education when some states cannot boast of reliable Internet. We can only imagine but cannot say specifically the effects or impact of broadband penetration thus far; we still have some way to go.