The Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) has honoured the Nigeria Information Technology Reporters’ Association (NITRA) with the Telecoms Industry Support Award in recognition of its pragmatic support to the telecoms industry in the country.
Presenting the award to NITRA at the 20th Anniversary/Awards Nite of ALTON held in Lagos, Engr. Gbenga Adebayo, who is the ALTON chairman, commended NITRA for her doggedness in setting agenda for the telecoms industry through objective reportage in the media.
According to Adebayo, ALTON, which is an umbrella body of all licensed telecoms operators, would continue to protect telecoms investment in Nigeria and ensure telecoms expansion across the country.
Adebayo said that 20 years after the liberalisation of the telecoms sector in Nigeria, the sector has attracted over $68 billion Foreign Direct Investment and contributed over N15 trillion to the nation’s economy.
He said the country has moved from one cellular mobile network with limited coverage and 26,500 connected lines to 4 GSM operators, 2 VoIP operators, 4 Fixed Wired operators with 172.9 million mobile subscriptions and teledensity at 123.5 percent.
“After 20 years, Nigeria boasts of over N15 trillion contribution to its economy, over 123 million internet subscriptions across various technology platforms (e.g. VoIP, GSM & Fixed Wired), with sector contribution to GDP at 11.4 percent and over USD68 billion Foreign Direct Investment. This is worth celebrating,” he said.
He added that Nigeria is today Africa’s largest telecoms market in terms of subscriptions, stressing that beyond growth in sheer numerical terms, telecoms have evolved from being a sparsely-available public utility to becoming a ‘social overhead capital.’
Receiving the award, NITRA Chairman, Emma Okonji, said the award is an indication of the immense work done by the Association to smoothen the operations of the telecoms industry across the country.
Okonji lauded the organisers of the award, adding that NITRA will always ensure that its members give their best to the industry for the operators, regulators, customers and other stakeholders to offer and get excellent services.
“We feel honoured for this award from ALTON. Beyond being a close partner with ALTON, we have been in the forefront of issues concerning the telecoms industry. This gesture is a spurring symbol for NITRA to contribute more to the industry and the country,” Okonji said.
The award ceremony, which featured industry stakeholders from across the country, was also witnessed by Rear Admiral Alison Madueke (Rtd), who was the Chairman of the award; and the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami, who was represented at the event, among others.