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Infrastructure key to Nigeria’s economic growth – Danbatta

Chinenye Anuforo

The Executive Vice Chairman (EVC), Nigerian Communication Commissions (NCC), Umar Danbatta, has said that economic development of the country can only be facilitated and accelerated by the presence of infrastructure.

Danbatta said this in Lagos while speaking on the theme, ‘Infrastructure and Economic Growth: The Telecom Industry Experience’ at the Business Journal 10th Anniversary Lecture/Award.

He said that economic growth are driven by factors such as growth in physical capital stock, growth in the size of the active labor force available for production, growth in quality of labour and technology progress and innovation driving productivity improvement.

The EVC who was represented by Edoyemi Ogo, Assistant Director, Technical Standards, NCC, explained that the telecommunications is an infrastructure industry adding that, it contributes to all the aforementioned economic growth drivers in one way or the other.

“Telecommunications is therefore considered to be both a cause and consequence of economic growth.”

He noted that the liberalisation and deregulation in telecom’s sector placed Nigeria in a position to increase the contribution of the sector to overall GDP adding that numerous studies show that there is a direct correlation between telecommunications infrastructure development and economic growth.

“With the advancement in telecommunications technology, the world has experienced a rapid growth in communication. The need for an efficient, modern telecommunications sector is now regarded as crucial to economic development in developing countries including Nigeria.”

The EVC stated that telecommunications infrastructure has direct and indirect positive effects on economic growth. “This effect can be seen in economic indicators which include the real GDP, industrial production, employment, price stability among others. The financial sector for example has been positively impacted by pervasive deployment of Telecom’s infrastructure across the country.”

However, he hinted that u served and under-served areas are also a focus for telecommunications infrastructure deployment using the instrumentality of the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF). “This is to ensure that all areas of the country are provided with the means to communicate for the socio-economic benefit of all.”

In his opening remarks, the Chairman of the occasion, Dr. Ernest Ndukwe pointed out that infrastructure remains the nation’s biggest problem in Africa, Nigeria in particular.

He said that power is so critical to the development of the country adding that he would want the power sector to experience the kind of revolution that happened in the telecommunications industry.

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