3 Developments That Will Shape Nigeria's ICT Sector In 2021 - Shina Badaru


Tuesday, December 29, 2020 / 7:55AM / Ottoabasi Abasiekong for WebTV / Header Image Credit: Technology Times

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As 2021 beckons the Information and Communication Technology Sector is poised for interesting developments that will reposition it to deepen the growth of Nigeria's economy, and increase business opportunities across the country.


The Founder of Technology Times Mr. Shina Badaru made this point as a guest on the special 2020 Christmas edition of the "Economy and Politics" show which discussed "Policy, Enabling Legislations and Digital Economic Growth In Nigeria".


According to him there were Three (3) key activities that are expected in 2021 that will be geared towards unlocking the Nigerian economy.


The three activities he identified are the a) Roll Out of 5G Network b) Entry of Virtual Mobile Network Operators, VMNO and c) Investments in Fiber Optics/Broadband at the State level.


In terms of the roll out of 5G, Mr. Badaru stressed that it will improve data connectivity and support Nigeria's Quest to become a strategic economy in the globe.

The Executive Vice President and Group CEO, Verizon Consumer Group Ronan Dunne was quoted as saying "By 2035, 5G will enable $12.3 trillion of global economic output and support 22 million jobs worldwide. Much of that growth will come from the digitization of transportation, agriculture, manufacturing and other physical industries".

On the Virtual Mobile Network Operators, he said with 20 years of the GSM liberalization by 2021, the advent of the VMNOs with licensing with strengthen the Telecommunications sub-sector in the economy.

VMNOs according to Wikipedia are distinguished by their commitment to owning and managing the operational components of the VMNO business model  consisting of the following:

  • Access to basic network infrastructure, like base stations, transceivers, home location registers, and switching centers.
  • Service packaging, pricing, and billing systems, including value-added services like voicemail and missed call notifications.
  • Consumer-facing aspects like sales, marketing, and customer relationship management activities like customer care and dispute resolution.

Looking at the Third key development to watch in 2021, which is the Investments in Fiber Optics/ Broadband Infrastructure at the State and Local Government level, he called on Governors to be pragmatic in reducing the right of way charges, that will incentivize key telecommunication operators to invest.


So far, Kaduna, Ekiti and Kwara are States that have taken proactive steps to reduce the R.O.W charges, and are also creating an enabling environment to boost the digital economy.


The Information and Communication Technology sector was a major driver of growth in Nigeria's economy according to the Q3, 2020 GDP report of the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS posting a double-digit growth of over 14%.

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