An Address by Engr. Titi Omo-Ettu, President, ATCON
at the WAFICT Conference/Exhibition in Lagos.
We are once again opportune to be part of another session of the WAFICT Exhibition/Conference. The timing is particularly significant given that our industry is experiencing considerable transformation. Change is afoot at the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC; as is the reality that two major players’ submarine optical fibre cables would be open to traffic to and from these shores; our government is right about now putting a revised Communications Policy together; and at ATCON, we have recently sworn in a new Executive Committee. So as far as positivity goes, there is hardly a better time to be here as we ride on the crest of a wave geared towards moving our industry to the next level.
In the realm of telecommunications development, as the saying goes ‘a lot done but a lot still to do’. The Nigerian market, by all indication, is not a blank canvass. However it is necessary, as we ride this wave, to address certain structural and infrastructural problems that might give the illusion or may be presented as if we have a saturated market on our hands.
Nevertheless, the advantages of cross-border trade especially for the medium and long term future gives cause for optimism – but only if, in the short term, we lay down plans and our modus operandi.
In relation to WAFICT, we can quite confidently say that given what the organizers have recorded in terms of its reach and potential effect, in the context of their set objectives, it is our view that with a well managed collaboration with other proven local initiatives, we should now be in a position to escalate our intentions to the International Telecommunications Union, (ITU), that under its auspices, Nigeria wishes to host a world class Telecommunications Expo. We must galvanize support as well as call on our officials in the Ministry of Information and Communications to begin to make necessary representation at the global level that we are ready to host the 2018 edition of ITU’s World Telecommunication Development Conference, WTDC-18.
I will also like to seize this opportunity to outline the focus of ATCON in the immediate future. We will continue to be a driving force of inspiration amongst all players as we attempt to meet the aspirations of our industry.
It is time we managed both volume and content of our traffic to ensure that we get the best returns from our investment. In this regard, we invite all members of ATCON, indeed all telecommunication firms in Nigeria to commence the domestication of their domain identity in cyberspace. ATCON to this end has taken the lead in migrating its own identity to atcon.org.ng and all other things related to that have been domesticated in the new Nigerian domain.
In due course, we shall provide the necessary guidelines to our members on change processes which will enable all of us take advantage of the tomorrow that we are seeing very clearly at this time.
We also invite our members to take advantage of our new structure which empowers the sector unions of our Association to ensure that they effectively manage their internal resources and challenges based on reciprocity of support between them and the central national body.
We commend the Hon. Minister of Information and Communications for the ongoing revision of the National Communications Policy. The fact that the terms of reference for the review committee starts with the premise that the policy has moved from being a telecommunications policy to being a COMMUNICATIONS POLICY indicates a move in the right direction.
We also commend and congratulate the Management of Globacom and MainOne Cable for their mammoth efforts in opening up the mouth of their submarine cable to incorporate Nigerian traffic.