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FG lacks political will to drive IT powered 4th Industrial Revolution—ALTON

President of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Engr. Gbenga Adebayo, has raised fresh alarm, warning that Nigeria may be left behind by others in the quest to fast-track the ongoing fourth industrial revolution.

In his presentation at the at the opening ceremony of the LCCI 5th edition of ICTEL EXPO 2019, in Lagos, Adebayo said “Every industrial revolutions we have witnessed in the time past was associated with one form of technical innovation or the other and these technical innovations were protected by the government before it thrived.”

The ALTON boss, represented by Mr Aremu Olajide, revealed that “In Nigeria, the case is not the same, that government is not doing enough to protect stakeholders in the industry”.

According to him, every revolution started with an innovation, an enabler and they complement each other but unfortunately in Nigeria the challenges that exist does not encourage for the right infrastructure to be provided.

He recalled that at the 2019 Nigerian Telecoms Leadership Summit in May, organized by the NCC in Lagos, stakeholders had called for an Executive Order that will compel state governments to give soft landing for telecoms investors especially in the areas of laying fibre optic cables so as to fast track delivery of broadband infrastructure that will serve as pivot for the fourth industrial revolution, but there is nothing to show for it till today.

Adebayo argued further that if the challenges in the information and Communications Technology sector is not addressed the quest to be part of the fourth industrial revolution will be a mirage.

He said “Government should declare these enablers a national critical infrastructure, create an environment for the youth to be innovative, create a smart city initiative and find lasting solutions to protecting infrastructure.

“All these put in place will ensure a conducive environment for the 4IR to thrive in Nigeria,” Adebayo averred.

Also in his presentation, Executive Vice Chairman/CEO Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, who was silent on the calls for an Executive Order to save telecom investors from the hostile relations between telecoms and state governments especially on the issue of Right of Way (RoW), stated efforts are being made to resolve the matter.

The EVC was represented by Ismail Adedigba, Head, Information and Reference Consumer Affairs Bureau at the Commission.