Issue #25   •   Quarter 3/4 Edition   •   December 2018

 

Hon. Saheed Akinade-Fijabi (Chairman, House Committee on Telecommunications,) assures on legislative support for telecom stakeholders

Rating the Nigerian telecoms market

I think I’ll rate it well above average; it is an industry that is still growing. At least out of the GDP of Nigeria for the year, telecoms contributed 9 per cent which is an increase from last year and I think with the level of innovation in the industry there’s still room for improvement.

Now that we want the country to diversify, I think this is another sector we can look to, to create a lot of employment and other opportunities. Even in education, farming and the likes, telecom is needed. I can see the industry growing from where it is now to the highest point you can think of.

Relationship between the House and the NCC

We have a good relationship with the NCC. With the present management of Prof. Umar Danbatta, I think he’s doing a great job and we will continue to support him. We’re all under one government and all we need is checks and balances. We’ve checked ourselves and I think he’s doing a great job and that is what we want; to support him and not run after him or stampede him.

How has the House been supporting telecoms growth?

The laws and amendment in the laws are some of the ways we’re supporting the industry. There’s the Infrastructure Bill which is currently on the floor of the House which I think is very germane to the success of the industry and we’re looking forward to having it passed into law.

There’s also the e-Government Bill in Nigeria; where we can link all government parastatals like is currently being practised in South Korea. The National Assembly and House of Reps are ready and willing to discharge their duties in passing these bills into law.

Word for undecided foreign investors

Nigeria has a virgin telecoms market that can still be tapped into. All over the world countries have their shortcomings - from insecurity to power etc. But still that shouldn’t stop one from investing. It is when they come in that we can sit together to find a lasting solution to whatever problem there is in the nation. I urge them to come because Nigeria gives high return on investment.