WELCOME SPEECH BY MR OLUSOLA TENIOLA, PRESIDENT ATCON AT THE 3RD EDITION OF NIGERIA TECH INNOVATION AND TELECOM AWARDS 2019 HELD ON SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28th, 2019 AT ORIENTAL HOTEL, VICTORIA ISLAND, LAGOS

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Protocol:

✓ Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim, Honourable Minister of Communications

✓ Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman, NCC

✓ Mr Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, Director General, NITDA

✓ Distinguished CEOs of ATCON Member Companies

✓ Captains of Industry

✓ Members of the press

✓ Ladies and Gentlemen

 

Appreciation

It is my pleasure to specially welcome you all to the 3rd edition of Nigeria Tech Innovation and Telecom Awards which is taking place today at the prestigious Lagos Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos powered by Instinctwave Africa’s leading B2B event organizer in collaboration with ATCON which is the premier Association ever formed by the first set of technocrats in the Nigerian telecommunications industry about 26 years ago.

 

Strategic Objectives of NTITA

As you all know that ATCON as an institution rarely organises awards ceremonies, this series under NTITA, is an exception, because we have a consultant who has convinced us beyond any doubt that our teeming members deserve some accolades in the form of awards to motivate them to do more in terms of changing the narrative of the Nigerian telecoms sector. The three cardinal points that have been advanced to justify our collaboration with InstinctWave are as follow:

 

  1. To foster healthy competition in the Nigerian telecom industry – ATCON took the initiative to collaborate with the organizer to give awards to some government institutions and telecom and IT companies that have championed innovation and creativity in the last few years in order to reposition the efficiency of the industry. This innovation has impacted positively on the products and services being rendered by all these organizations and ATCON thought the only way to encourage further innovation in the industry is to reward those who are not resting on their oasis but striving to make a difference in the sector. Nigeria as a nation can only take advantage of the digital revolution that is going on in the world if more attention is given towards youth creativity.

 

  1. To drive further investment into the sector – it is believed that the adoption of creativity and innovation would automatically lead to further investment in the sector both locally and internationally. The new innovations require further investment for its continuity and ATCON plans to use this reward system in the form of giving awards to establishments who see innovation as a key driver of the industry and are acknowledged and motivated to do more. As some companies and individuals will receive awards today it is our utmost belief that it would encourage innovation and creativity that would not only disrupt the Nigerian telecom sector but will impact globally. This we believe would influence further investment in the sector.

 

  1. We also decided to collaborate with InstinctWave to give the most authoritative and recognized awards to innovative and deserving individuals because our industry has contributed a lot to the Nigeria GDP (figuratively; according to NBS latest statistics: 13%). Our thinking is that if we decide to ignore the contribution that our sector has made to the development of Nigeria by not recognizing the actors that made it possible what we are saying invariably is that we are ungrateful to their concerted efforts in changing the story of our industry. We hope with this initiative of rewarding excellence Nigerian government would pay more attention to our sector by removing all barriers that are militating against the growth of our industry like multiple taxation, right of way issues and lack of disbursement of forex at the official rate to our sector.

 

In trying to reward the right government establishments and companies, we ensure that the principles of integrity, professionalism and fairness are ranked high above any commercial motives.

 

Recent Appointments in the Industry

Please permit me to further congratulate our newly appointed honourable Minister of Communications in the person of Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, the newly appointed Director General of NITDA in the person of Mr Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, the newly appointed Executive Commissioner of NCC, Engr. Ubale Ahmed Maska; the newly appointed Commissioners of NCC, Mr Aliyu Saidu Abubakar, Mr Salman Addulaziz Muhammed and Prof Millionaire Freeborn Nestor Abowei, and the newly appointed Director of Public Affairs, NCC, Dr Henry Nkemadu. The Association’s National Executive Council and its over 135 active members and still growing congratulates you all as we look forward to a very productive working relationship with you.

 

ATCON’s Evaluation of the Nigerian Telecommunications Industry 2015 – 2019

I like to inform the la creme of our industry that the National Executive Council of the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) has concluded plans to embark on an evaluation exercise of the Nigerian telecom industry. The book is expected to cover between 2015 to 2019 (inclusive).

 

It is important that we emphasize the fact that the Nigerian telecommunications sector has gone through a lot of structural changes since it was liberalized many years ago. As a forward looking and proactive Association in this space our Association prides itself with the protection of investments already made (USD$70bn) and we are working very hard to further increase the level of investment that is attracted to the industry through research and development. Some of the principal reasons that inform the evaluation of the Nigerian telecoms industry are as follow:

 

  • to showcase policy improvements and innovations during the period under review and its attendant results.
  • to understudy the sector viz-a-viz challenges limiting the growth and development of the sector in the period under review.
  • to make concerted effort towards proffering sustainable solutions to all identified challenges.
  • to work towards attaining the newly set broadband target.
  • to encourage further local and foreign investment into the sector by demonstrating untapped opportunities in the sector.

 

ATCON Hall of Fame

This 3rd edition of Nigeria Tech Innovation and Telecom Awards is unique in the sense that some eminent personalities who have made indelible marks in the development of our sector will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. These distinguished personalities emerged after a rigorous selection exercise conducted by us.

 

In closing, we congratulate all award recipients tonight and celebrate all the eminent personalities present here with us.

 

Please enjoy the rest of the evening.

 

Olusola Teniola

President, ATCON

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