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ATCON highlights NITDA’s IT development initiatives, seeks partnership

More details on the happenstances during the recent visit of officials of the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) to the headquarters of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) have emerged.

In his presentation during the visit, the president of TACON, Engineer Olusola Teniola said his association was happy on the way and manner the new Director General, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami has been piloting the affairs of the agency.

He added that “the Association would like to commend Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami for his dogged efforts at promoting IT Regulation in Nigeria. We are aware that the proposed regulation is being put together and very shortly it would be implemented to increase locally produced Software in Nigeria as this would discourage capital flight”.

On issues of Cybersecurity, ATCON boss averred that the Association is also delighted that NITDA in collaboration with other relevant agencies are working towards making the Internet a safer place to use. We also want to commend NITDA under Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami’s watch on the information released by the agency in respect of a newly detected virus called (WannaCrypt) ransomware. We appreciate the way and manner that the Agency contained it and we hope that NITDA would keep us posted on how to stay free from contacting these ongoing Cyber-related threats.

Teniola further noted that it is noteworthy that NITDA under the DG’s watch is building capacity to save Nigeria from depending on foreigners to develop our Information and Technology space. ATCON consider this innovative and strategic and we would want NITDA to place more focus on this initiative as in time Nigeria will be exporting its locally developed capacity.

Commenting on government digital services promotion, Teniola noted that it is heart-warming that NITDA under the leadership of Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami is working very hard to migrate all government services to web based services. This would in no doubt reduce government cost and make government services accessible and effective.

Commenting on matter of Convergence, ATCON recalled that the telecom sector has had a positive impact on every aspect of human life. There is no doubt that the emergence and liberalization  of this sector has also impacted positively on revenue accruable to government , employment generation (both Direct and Indirect), Foreign Direct Investment (in tens of billions of dollars) and a host of other positives which time would not permit us to mention. He said ATCON recognizes the strategic place of NITDA in delivering the dividends of liberalizing the Telecommunication sector in that if technologies are not developed to cater for the needs of Nigerians then the ubiquitous and pervasive broadband that we are clamouring for would be a wasted effort.

According to him, “the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) considered all these initiative strategic and timely and for those reasons ATCON is happy to identify with NITDA”.

However, Mr David Roberts, 2nd Vice President of ATCON raised an issue around ease of doing business in Nigeria, saying there is need for NITDA in collaboration with NCC to call for a stakeholders meeting which would involve the Nigeria Custom Service to discuss charges being levied on telecoms equipment.

Responding, the Director General who was represented by Dr. Usman GamboAbdullahi, Director, e-Government Development & Regulatory Department, said the Agency was honoured to have been paid a courtesy visit by the National Executive Council of the Association and that the role of telecom was critical in driving the entire ICT sector.

He said the DG of NITDA has been giving the needed attention to the ICT sector by giving special attention to the telecom sector because of its special role through interventions. He said NITDA recently added new department to the existing departments. These departments are Cybersecurity Department, IT Regulation Department and IT Infrastructure Department. He further said that the absence of synergy in the ICT ecosystem is responsible for the slow development in the sector.

In the goodwill message, Dr. Suleiman Mohammed, Head Budget Development and Monitoring Unit, NITDA thanked the Association for visiting the Agency and he said it is high time that the entire ICT ecosystem harmonize their goals and encourage cooperation and collaboration to achieve the harmonious goals for the sector.

In his submission, Dr.AdejubeOlayinka, Director, Standards, Guidelines and Framework, NITDA called on ATCON to work with NITDA to develop technologies that would serve the need of Nigerians and map out various opportunity that can benefits ATCON, NITDA and the entire ICT ecosystem in Nigeria.

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