The maiden Edition of the Nigerian Telecom Leadership Summit 2019, organized by the apex Telecom regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission, is, currently, about rounding up, today, Thursday, May 23, 2019, at Eko Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.
The theme of the summit, is “Repositioning the Nigerian Telecom Industry for the Future: Prospects and Challenges”.
The Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, was represented by Babafemi Ojudu. he Chairman of NCC, Chief (Dr) Olabiyi Durojaiye, was also in attendance.
The summit is a gathering of stakeholders in the Telecom industry, to discuss, how far the sector has come, and what should be done, to make this sector deliver better services and also, for operators to provide their services with ease and in peace .
“Essentially, the objective is to equip the regulator and its key stakeholders and indeed, focus on more effective performance, in the interest of the industry and our dear nation.”, Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, the EVC/CEO of NCC stressed, while delivering his Keynote address at the event.
The former Minister of Communications Technology, Dr. (Mrs) Omobola Johnson, advised that, stakeholders in the Telecom sector, should not be thinking of achieving the best fit to drive the industry, but to allow for a digital revolution to take place, to correct the wrongs currently slowing down the sector.
“What we need now is a Telecom sector that is ubiquitous, reliable, affordable and fast in service delivery”, Omobola Johnson emphasised, while delivering her keynote address at the event.
A panel of discussion, discussed the topic, “Challenges Facing the Nigerian Telecoms Industry; Way Forward and the Role of the Regulator”. It was moderated by Maryam Bayi, Director, Human Capital and Administration, NCC.
Discussants on the panel include, Dr. (Mrs) Omobola Johnson, former Minister of Communications Technology, Ms. Yewande Sadiku Executive Secretary, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission, NIPC, Mrs. Funke Opened, Chief Executive Officer, MainOne, Engineer Gbenga Adebayo, Chairman, Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria, ALTON and Mr. A. B.Mahmoud, SAN, former President of the Nigerian Bar Association and Managing Partner, Dikko & Mahmoud Solicitors.
Two burning issues kept cropping up during the discussion and these are multiple taxation that, is currently put at around 39, by Gbenga Adebayo, President of ALTON and the of Right of Way, which some State governments are now trying to make a yearly payment by the operators, through annual renewal.
In the view of Omobola Johnson and also, supported by many other contributors, the solution to these, is the issuance of an Executive Order by the Executive arm of government.
A second panel, also, discussed on the “Implications of Multiple Taxation on Investment in the Nigerian Telecom Industry”, moderated by Ms. Josephine Amuwa, Director, Corporate Planning, Strategy & Risk Management, NCC. Discussants include, Mrs. Funke Opeke, Chief Executive Officer, MainOne, Mr. Olusola Teniola, President, Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria, ATCON, Dr. Doyin Salami, Associate Professor, Lagos Business School, Professor Fabian Ajogwu, SAN, Professor of Corporate Governance and Founding Partner, Kenna Partners and a representative of the Central Bank Governor.
It is the resolve of all stakeholders at the Telecom summit that, the issues of multiple taxation and right of way, should be dealt with, once and for all, for the Telecom sector to move forward from its current state.
(L-R): Bello Aminu, representing A.B.Mahmoud, former President of NBA, Funke Opeke, CEO, MainOne, Yewande Sadiku, ES, NIPC, Dr. Mrs Omobola Johnson, Ex-Minister of Communications Technology, Maryam Bayi, Director, Human Capital and Administration, NCC, (Moderator) and Engineer Gbenga Adebayo, Chairman, ALTON.