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Telecoms sector contributes N2.3trn to Q2 GDP, as stakeholders laud NCC

The Nigerian telecommunication and information services sectors have remained the enablers of growth, with N2.3 trilion or 14 per cent Gross Domestic Product, GDP, contribution in the second quarter of 2020 despite the economic impact of the global coronavirus pandemic.

According to The Guardian, the sectors’s contribution to the GDP translates to N2.272 trillion, up from N1.821 trillion in the first quarter of 2020.

The newspaper cited the figures made public by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), which shows an increase of 31.43 per cent

The 14.30 per cent contributed by the telecoms sub-sector alone was far above oil and gas and other non-oil sectors, while the entire ICT industry recorded 17.83 per cent in the second quarter.

It is on record that in 2015 the telecoms’ sub-sector contribution to the Gross Domestic Product stood at eight percent and has grown significantly quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year to reach the current milestone.

For this reason, stakeholders in the industry have attribubuted this milestone achievement which represents a leap from the 10.88 per cent in first quarter of the year to the Nigerian Comunications Commission, NCC’s sound regulatory environment.

The NCC regulatory framework has been commended by the stakeholders, such as the Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria, (ATCON), Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators (ALTON), and the National Association of Telecoms Subscribers (NATCOMS), according to The Guardian

Mr. Gbenga Adebayo, the Chairman of ALTON Chairman, commended all industry players for their resilience and consistency of purpose.

According to Adebayo, this achievements would have not been possible if not for factors such as the investor-friendly policy and regulatory environment which the leadership of the NCC has made available.

He also thanked all stakeholders for their commitment, consistent investment in network maintenance and expansion, and sacrifice by sector operators.

He pointed out that to sustain this growth, Nigeria should continue to invest in network expansion and maintenance operations, access to foreign exchange to procure network critical equipment, consistency in policy and policy environment.

The ALTON Chairman noted that there should be access to spectrum and friendly policies around its allocation, assignment and cooperation between the stakeholders.

Also speaking on the matter, Olusola Teniola, the President of ATCON, said: “telecoms industry has remained bullish owing to the quality of leadership at the helm of affairs at the NCC.”

He added that NCC, led by Prof. Umar Danbatta, had become a reference point in telecom regulatory ecosystem in Africa and beyond.

In the same vein, President of National Association of Telecoms Subscribers of Nigeria (NATCOMS) Adeolu Ogunbajo, said the proactive regulatory approach of Danbatta has helped made telecoms “the oxygen that keeps economic activities afloat during the lockdowns and consumers are appreciative of the fact that the Commission, working with its supervising Ministry, didn’t allow the consumer to suffer serious disruption to quality of service and quality of experience.”

Checks showed that effective regulatory regime, backed by various initiatives of the Commission and efforts of the supervising Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy at addressing industry challenges, is providing the needed digital valves that have supported the economy from collapse, since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

The increase in broadband penetration, Internet usage, number of access to telephone and several other initiatives by the Commission, especially in the areas of driving tech innovations, employment creation, promotion of digital inclusiveness, which are policy directions of NCC, an industry regulator, has, in the last five years, boosted the sector’s contribution to GDP.

These policy activities have also enhanced the growth of digital-based activities across other sectors of the economy increasing efficiency and effectiveness in economic operations.

Speaking recently at the Commission’s first virtual telecoms consumer parliament (VTCP), the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, noted that the NCC, ensured has always been innovative and proactive in its regulatory activities by ensuring that the economy remains afloat despite the restrictions occasioned by the pandemic.

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