Government is to release policy to ensure priority is given to indigenous manpower and expertise- Pantami

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….. Draft document on the Executive Order protecting Telecommunications Infrastructure across the country—}

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Pantami, said Ministry is currently working on a policy that will reinforce existing Executive Orders 003 and 005 to ensure that priority is given to indigenous manpower and expertise. In the Ministry, we always try to strike a balance by protecting the interest of consumers and citizens on one hand and the telecoms companies on the other.

Dr Isa Ali Pantami

The Minister disclosed this during a keynote address at a virtual sectoral forum, organised by the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON).

The theme of the forum titled “Meeting the interests of Government, Consumers and Telecoms and ICT Companies in the era of COVID19 and post COVID19 Pandemic for Digital Economy Development” is aimed at finding a mutually beneficial common ground for every interest in the sector.

This was contained in a statement signed by the Minister’s Spokesperson, Mrs. Uwa Suleiman, Dr Pantami noted that the “protection of the rights of citizens and consumers was of utmost priority to the government especially those who are struggling”

Dr. Pantami explained that the Draft document on the Executive Order protecting Telecommunications Infrastructure across the country has been reviewed by the relevant authorities and is awaiting presidential assent.

Dr Pantami disclosed that in order to create an enabling environment for both investors and consumers, government has intervened by enacting policies to protect telecommunications infrastructure, review the cost of Right of Way (RoW) to the barest minimum and also put measures in place to eradicate illegal or multiple taxation.

Minister toed the line of old saying “the consumer is king and they must be consulted and their rights protected”

The ATCON’s President, Olusola Teniola earlier commended the Minister for his unprecedented interventions in every issue that has hitherto plagued and constituted a setback to the sector.

Mr. Teniola pledged the association’s support towards achieving the initiatives and strategies of the Minister in ensuring that the industry operates in line with global best practice.

He expressed optimism that with yours interventions and support, the challenges of Quality of Service, price of data and broadband penetration will improve considerably.

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