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Nigeria’s $70bn telecoms sector gets ITU accolades

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Nigeria’s $70bn telecoms sector gets ITU accolades

Telecoms regulator has promised to ensure maximum protection for existing and potential investors in the country

The sound regulatory environment engendered by the Nigerian government which has significantly improved investment in the industry to $70 billion, has been globally recognised by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

At the just-concluded ITU Telecom World 2017 in Busan, South Korea, the regulatory finesses of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the entrepreneurial spirit of the Nigerian youths received  recognition.

During the event, NCC, which was the toast of the global telecommunications umbrella body, was named the most Valuable Partner by the ITU for its commitment and participation in ITU Telecom World events over the years.

The NCC was also awarded a certificate of Appreciation for the ITU Telecom World 2017 National Pavilion and thematic Pavilion as well as Loyal Participation and supporters of the yearly ITU Telecom World in a number of years.

Nigeria also won the ITU Telecom World Government Award for being the government with the most innovative Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) included in the nation’s pavilion.

Aside these, five Nigerian SMEs and start-ups qualified for the ITU Telecom World 2017 pitch for the Global SMEs Awards. Three of the SMEs, Miss Temitope Awosika of Medsaf, Mr. Valentine Ubalua of Ubenwa and Mr. Chizaram Ucheaga of Mavis Computel joined the ITU Global SME honours lists.

New Telegraph leant that Medsaf for instance leverages technology to make the process of buying and selling, and managing medication easy and efficient, connecting hospitals, pharmacies and clinics to safe quality medication from leading local and foreign drug manufacturers.

Ubenwa’s recognition is for leveraging the most innovative use of ICTs category for pioneering a cry-based diagnostic mobile app for birth asphyxia.

In addition, Mavis computel’s recognition of Excellence certificate, as the best and most innovative individual exhibitor in the Nigerian pavilion at ITU Telecom World 2017 completed the circle of recognitions in this global event. The certificates were presented to those recognized and won by ITU Secretary General, Mr. Houlin Zhao.

Zhao said he was very encouraged by Nigeria’s participation and told other nations present at the award ceremony to emulate the Nigerian example personified by the NCC; for putting together quality participation every year and bringing to ITU Telecom World 2017 SMEs with innovative ICT digital solutions that have social impact.

Dr. Mustapha Babagana of Nigeria’s Ministry of Communications, received the award on behalf of Nigeria while, Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) Nigeria and Director, Spectrum Administration, NCC, Mr. Austin Nwaulune received the NCC awards on behalf of Executive Vice Chairman (EVC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta.

Speaking on the tons of recognitions received by the Nigerian delegation, Danbatta said the determination of the NCC to consistently engender enabling environment where investors’ confidence is guaranteed with maximum return on investment (ROI) has led to the growth of the industry.

He noted that within 16 years of telecoms liberalisation, Nigeria has grown its investment from $500 million to its current $70 billion while subscriber base has risen from about 400,000 active telephone lines to over 155 million as at January, 2017, though this figure has further reduced recently.

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