The President-Elect of the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria, (ATCON), Engr. Ikechukwu Nnamani, has pledged that ATCON in its advocacy role in the Nigeria’s telecommunications industry add value to the businesses of its members.
Nnamani also promised to ensure that telecoms services’ consumers get value for their money promising an effective industry-government engagement that would further deepened broadband internet penetration across the country.
Nnamani who is the Chief Executive Officer of Medallion Communications Limited, Nigeria’s leading data centre with presence in Ghana, was elected following the expiration of the tenure of Mr. Teniola Olusola to pilot the affairs of ATCON for two years ending in 2022.
In an interview with journalist shortly after his acceptance, he recalled the impact that ATCON has played in the industry particularly in helping telecoms companies in the country who are members of ATCON to address the challenges that they are facing.
And such, Nnamani who is also on the board of the African ICT Foundation and the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA) promised to pursue the quest for telecom financing, a clamour which has been in the front-line agitation of ATCON members for long without result.
According to him, the new Executive of ATCON would pursue telecoms financing for infrastructure for its members particularly for those that needs FOREX to import telecoms equipment needed to deepened the broadband internet across the country.
He said that although ATCON would pursue the demand for a telecoms bank but noted that what its members need is actual financing irrespective of whether it leads to the creation of a telecoms bank for the industry.
He explained that what it is pushing for is the right structure for telecoms financing for the industry stressing that there are telecoms financing in the banking sector but that very few telecoms players can meet the terms and that those who can meet the terms are those that don’t need the financing.
Nnamani who was a former First Vice President of the Association noted his administration would work assiduously to make the Secretariat of ATCON more effective and ensure that telecoms services get across the entire country, particularly the hinterland of the country.
He disclosed that the New Executive would work with well-established members of ATCON to support other members that are still struggling to achieve their growth potential noting that challenges that should be addressed under a common forum would be attended to.
He added that that has already started and promised to keep the momentum going saying that during the COVID-19, a lot of those challenges were addressed.
Speaking further on the impact of the COVID-19 on the industry, he said that despite its health implication, it has actually made the services of telecoms companies in the country more relevant.
He explained that most of the five-year plan which players in the industry had needed to be fast-track to meet the present challenges by now providing the needed telecoms infrastructure to mitigate the COVID-19 challenges.
He said that the e-health solution, fintech services as well as the short messages services and that data bundle which ATCON members were able to offer during the pandemic helped the country and indeed the industry to tackle the challenges of the pandemic.
According to him, COVID-19 only helped to accelerate the role that ATCON plays in the industry saying that the pandemic is a call for its members to offer more efficient services, adding however that ATCON is also mindful of the cost so as to optimize the right price at the right point.
Isaiah Erhiawarien, Lagos