Elumelu, others seek more investments in digital infrastructure



    The Chairman, Heirs Holdings, Tony Elumelu and other Information and Communication Technology, ICT, stakeholders on Wednesday called for the scaling up of Nigeria’s digital infrastructure.

    Elumelu, represented the Group Chief Executive Officer, United Capital Plc, Peter Ashade ,gave advice at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, Information Communication Technology and Telecommunication, ICTEL, Expo in Lagos.

    Energy Frontier reports that the expo, which is in its 8th year, had as its theme: “Ensuring Efficient Digital Infrastructure in Nigeria.”

    Elumelu said the growth of the country’s Fintech indicated the need to rapidly scale up the digital infrastructure, seeing that in 2021, Nigeria’s Fintech startups raised about 730 million dollars in investments.

    He, however, noted that the country’s internet base was barely half of its population at the start of 2022 with 51 per cent internet penetration, 44 per cent broadband penetration, and 54 per cent 3G coverage.

    The Heirs Holding boss, said the deployment of the 5G network spectrum in rural areas was currently low and presented huge opportunities for the private sector to drive economic growth in the informal sector, which dominated rural activities.

    Elumelu stressed that private participation was needed to spur the adoption and use of broadband.

    “There must be preferential taxation for providers who agree on specific universal access targets.

    “There’s also the need to review spectrum policies, provide more license spectrums and focus more on transparency initiatives to reduce uncertainty around long-term investments for private investors.

    “Heirs holdings is uniquely positioned to work with ICT industry stakeholders on specialised financing for ICT infrastructure projects, amongst others, seeing that digital infrastructure is the growth catalyst for modern economies,” he said.

    The Managing Director, Galaxy Backbone Ltd., GBB, Mohammad Abubakar, said public-private partnership, PPP, was essential to providing efficient digital infrastructure in accelerating digital transformation, through collaborations and effective communication across borders.

    Abubakar was represented by Dauda Oyeleye, Group Head, Business Development, GBB.

    He said to further solidify GBB the company created an Enterprise Business Group, EBG, tasked with the sole responsibility of managing private customers as well as structured partnerships.

    He stated that GBB had a pervasive fibre connectivity network across the nation, which the private sector could key into.

    “We have established partnerships with managed service providers, real estate developers, as well as other local organisations to reach the goal of attaining a digital Nigeria. Our state-of-the-art infrastructure has been instrumental in sealing these deals and the partnerships just keep getting better”, he said.

    “GBB has taken steps to secure public confidence in the use of its digital infrastructure, through trusted international third-party attestations and would continue to redefine collaboration within and outside the country,” he added.


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