Nigeria Emerges as Africa’s Telecommunications Powerhouse, Says NCC Executive

Prof Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has declared Nigeria as the telecommunications powerhouse of Africa. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Emerging Technology Workshop and Forum for the telecom industry held at the Digital Economy Complex in Abuja, Danbatta highlighted Nigeria’s significant role in the continent’s telecommunications landscape.

Danbatta pointed out that Nigeria accounts for a remarkable 82% of the total telecom subscribers in Africa and 29% of the continent’s internet consumption. He further emphasized that Nigeria ranks eleventh globally in terms of internet penetration and seventh for mobile phone usage.

“Despite these remarkable metrics, the fact that our Network Readiness Index (NRI) ranking for 2022 is 109th out of 131 countries is both humbling and challenging,” Danbatta said. The NRI measures the role and impact of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in various economies.

He stressed the importance of prioritizing network readiness, stating that it’s not only a strategic necessity but also a mandate, given the transformative role of ICT in social and economic development.

Acknowledging the rapidly evolving technological landscape, Danbatta noted that the surge in data utilization, the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), the advent of artificial intelligence, and the emergence of cutting-edge technologies call for ongoing network surveillance and expansion.

“To navigate this era of transformation, we must embrace innovation, make strategic investments, and cultivate a growth-friendly ecosystem,” he added.

Danbatta underscored that despite the remarkable growth achieved in the past two decades, the telecommunications industry would require more investments to enhance performance and meet citizens’ expectations. He stated that the Emerging Technology Forum aims to facilitate thought-provoking discussions and leverage the expertise of renowned professionals in the technology sector.

“As we convene here today, the innovation symphony resonates with our common goals. The Emerging Technology Forum acts as a beacon, directing us towards the intersection of transformation and advancement,” Danbatta concluded. “Through spirited dialogues, collaborative exchanges, and the exploration of emerging technologies, we move closer to our vision of a fully interconnected, telecommunications-driven Nigeria.”

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