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Missing in 2018 ‘Where to invest in Africa’ minus for Nigeria at ITU

…priceless data floor may also weaken investors

The 2017 edition of International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Telecoms conference in Busan, South Korea, kicked off on Monday with the Minister of Communications leading over 30 delegates peopled by officials of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and others including private sector operators.

The key target of the contingent is to campaign and draw the attention of foreign investors to the nation’s telecoms and data sector.

However, the nation’s drive to search for broadband investors at the global summit may be hobbled by the latest report on Africa Investment Destination which found Nigeria missing on the radar.

Latest report published by leading Africa’s investment directory, Rand Merchant Bank, has shown that Nigeria, as an investment destination in Africa in 2018 is off the radar.

This means that there is high tendency that global investors are not satisfied with Nigeria’s 2018 investment roadmap as driven by the Economic Recovery & Growth Plan (ERGP) of the Federal Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning.

Whereas observers are shocked that for the first time in over 30 years, Nigeria has failed to make the list of destination points for investors willing to invest in Africa, there are fears that the development may not be unconnected with lack of credible data on Nigeria by Rand Merchant Bank.

According to the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof Umar Danbatta, Nigeria plans to meet and surpass next year’s 30 per cent broadband penetration target and this can be possible with the volume of investors Nigeria will attract while participating in the 2017 International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Telecoms conference in Busan, South Korea.

But based on the report, analysts say Nigerian delegation will face a herculean task of convincing investors that the report was naïve and not the true state of things in Nigeria.

Besides, another challenge that will further frustrate the delegation is the priceless data floor which observers say, kill credible competition and further investment because no investor will be attracted to enter a market segment that is poorly regulated due to government’s momentary fiat in neutralizing policy positions.

It would be recalled that NCC was forced by a section of the National Assembly to reverse its regulation which empowered data segment operators to a data price floor few months ago.

The yearly event kicked off today in Busan, 325 kilometers away from Seoul, South Korea and 520 kilometers away from President Kim Jong-Un’s Pyongyang, North Korea.

The 2017 conference, which has its theme as ‘Digital Transformation, Global Opportunity,’ is a unique international platform for influential figures from government and industry to connect with tech SMEs and entrepreneurs, to exhibit and explore partnership solutions, investment opportunities, shared ideas and best practices.

Organised since 1971 by ITU, the United Nations specialised agency for ICTs, the conference and exhibition also serve as a vehicle for countries, organisations and individuals to woo investors to their economies.

Nigerias that will made presentations at the summit include the Minister, Adebayo Shittu; former Minister of Communications Technology, Dr. Omobola Johnson; Danbatta; Executive Secretary, Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission, Yewande Sadiku; Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Co-Creation Hub Nigeria, Bosun Tijani; Director-General, National Information and Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami, among others.