Mr Tony Elumelu, Chairman, Heirs Holdings, and other Information and Communication Technology (ICT) stakeholders on Wednesday called for the scaling up of Nigeria’s digital infrastructure.
Elumelu, represented by Mr Peter Ashade, Group Chief Executive Officer, United Capital Plc, gave the advice at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Information Communication Technology and Telecommunication (ICTEL) Expo in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) 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.
The speaker hammered on the progressive state of digital infrastructures in the country, conducting a proper SWOT analysis of what the development seem like, without neglecting recommendations on how we as a people can do more to help the up-and-coming digital experts tap from the current goldmine in the industry.
Click Here To Read: FG Targets $40 Billion Investments in Digital Infrastructure
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.
He 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.
He 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 initiative 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.
In his welcome address, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s President Asiwaju (Dr.) Michael Olawale Cole charged participants to ensure that the opportunities in the gathering are properly keyed into as the program has successful history of building great brands and developing new ideas.
Cole said the theme was in view of the fact that the Federal Government had announced a target of 40 billion dollars private capital investment in digital infrastructure by 2025, beside facilitating about 1 billion dollars in equity.
He added that government recently inaugurated the National Council on Infrastructure, with a plan to double Nigeria’s infrastructure stock of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from the prevailing 35 per cent to about 70 per cent.