Investment in telecoms now $25bn –Jonathan

Investment in the Nigerian telecommunications in the past 12 years is now worth $25bn, President Goodluck Jonathan has said.

Jonathan said this at the Nigerian Investment Forum organised at the Royal Pavilion, Impact Exhibition and Convention Centre, Bangkok, Thailand, on Wednesday.

It was part of the ongoing ITU Telecom World hosted by the International Telecommunications Union, a statement by the Ministry of Communications Technology stated.

The President, who was represented at the forum by the Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, said Africa presented new opportunities for the world and Nigeria was at the crest of whatever Africa had to offer.

He said telecommunication was the fastest growing sector of the Nigerian economy, performing twice as much as the next sector – building and construction.

According to him, the telecommunications sector, which is growing at 30 per cent per annum, is contributing eight per cent to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product.

Jonathan said the strength of the Nigerian telecommunications industry could be seen in the fact that operators had staked $25bn on the expansion of the industry in the past 12 years, adding that there was still immense opportunities for growth.

At the opening of the Nigerian Pavilion at the ITU Telecom World, digital mobile operators promised Mrs. Patience Jonathan, who chaired the session, that they would sign a pact for the protection of children online.

The Director, Regulatory Affairs at Etisalat, Mr. Ibrahim Dikko, spoke on behalf of the operators.

He said they were in the process of drafting a code to be signed by all mobile operators for the protection of children online.

Dikko told our correspondent that it could include blocking all websites found to be injurious to children since mobile operators provide Internet services to about 50 million subscribers.

He added that another aspect of the pact could include providing phones, which could not access sites deemed to be injurious to the health of children and young people.

The Secretary-General of ITU, Mr. Hamadoun Toure, said at the unveiling of the Nigerian Pavilion that for five years, the ITU recognised Nigeria as the fastest growing mobile communications market in the world.

He said that the country could not have achieved the feat for five consecutive years through cheating, but as a result sound policies and actions.

Toure said, “Nigeria is the largest country in Africa and the economic engine of the continent. Nigeria is not only rich in mineral resources but also in human resources. What we have in our heads is much bigger than what we have underground.

“Nigeria was ranked the highest in mobile growth by the ITU for five years. There is no dream that is too big for Africa. When a leader has a big dream and shares it with the people, it becomes a vision. Nigeria is one of the places that investors can make profit. There is nothing wrong with making profit as long as jobs and opportunities are created.”

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