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ICT'll contribute 15% to GDP by 2015 - NCC

By The Citizen
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The Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission, Dr. Eugene Juwah, has said the contribution of the Information and Communication Technology sector to the Gross Domestic Product will take a leap from the current 5.6 per cent to about 15 per cent by 2015.

Juwah spoke at the Broader Way 2013 Forum - Make it Possible, organised by Huawei at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, according to a statement obtained by our correspondent on Monday.

He said this would be achieved by the government's structured investment and regulatory intervention.

Juwah, who was among a panel of experts from industry and administrations, traced the phenomenal developments in the country's communications industry and said current programmes and strategies would put Nigeria on a faster lane in broadband deployment and development.

He lamented the dearth of infrastructure in the sector, which had affected projections and growth when placed side by side the country's huge population, resulting in only six per cent data penetration currently.

Juwah canvassed a synergy between government and the private sector in infrastructure funding.

This, he said, would aid infrastructure building in order to stimulate demand and competition.

Although the licensing of 2.3GHz spectrum will be concluded this year to stimulate further competition in the telecommunications industry, Juwah said he had been developing a broadband concept for the country.

This, he said, would encourage government to give financial incentives to service providers that would take services to far-flung, un-served and other under-served areas.

Such incentives, according to him, will influence a commanding reduction in the cost of bandwidth and expectedly put bandwidth in the hands of those who need it but cannot afford it.

On the infrastructure side, the NCC boss further advocated equal focus on wireless and wired technologies, and appealed to equipment manufacturers and suppliers to come out with products that could harmonise and encourage the two technologies.

Speaking at another forum, the Secretary General, International Telecommunications Union, Dr. Hamadoun Toure, lauded the transformation in the telecommunications sector.