Over 500 stakeholders in the telecommunications and power sectors convened today for the Power and Telecommunications Synergy Conference, sponsored by IHS Nigeria and organized by Thistle Praxis. The event was held at the Landmark Event Center in Lagos and was designed to explore the benefits of integrating power solutions into the Nigerian Broadband Plan (NBP). Over 50 companies attended with representatives from a diversity of sectors including power, ICT and telecommunications alongside the government.
The conference themed Power and Telecommunications Synergy: Building Strategic Alliances for Broadband Penetration and Inclusive Prosperity presented a rare opportunity for participants to engage in constructive and interactive sessions on the NBP with industry experts and decision-makers in the technology sector. Discussions concentrated on the possibilities of integrating power solutions to achieve the NBP and bring about shared prosperity through the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
The program included three panel discussions, two break-out sessions, thirteen exhibitions and a master class, with the expectation of building critical working groups to generate ideas and scalable solutions. The conference addressed issues such as building harmonized regulations, investment sourcing and optimization of returns for broadband infrastructure.
Commenting on the event, Mohamad Darwish, IHS Towers Senior Vice President, Co-founder and IHS Nigeria CEO, said, “This conference was strategically designed to provide insightful and constructive solutions to help achieve the nation’s vision for broadband growth and inclusive prosperity. The telecommunications sector is of ultimate importance to the economic growth of Nigeria. We are excited to be part of those broader solutions emerging from the power and telecommunications sector to address the country’s major challenges and those of West Africa at large.”
Darwish stressed the need for both private and public sectors to collaborate on driving forward innovative solutions that will enable Nigeria to meet its growing demand for broadband connectivity.
“As of March 2019, according to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), broadband penetration in Nigeria was pegged at 33% and an increase to the 70% target will require everyone’s efforts. This endeavour is too complex to be addressed solely by governments, operators or society. This needs to be a shared goal. We must all work together to achieve connectivity nationwide.” Darwish said.
Also commenting was Professor Umar Danbatta, NCC Executive Vice Chairman, who said, “We are thrilled to have been a part of the Conference. Platforms like this are essential to both the growth of the industry and the overall economy. Prior to 2001, when Nigeria’s telecommunication sector was deregulated, Nigeria had only approximately 700,000 lines and was unable to meet the growing demand for telecommunications services. Since then, the telecoms industry has witnessed significant growth and progress; but it is important that we collectively seek ways to further improve the telecoms sector to drive opportunities and investment.”
Reiterating his remarks, Professor James Momoh, Chairman, Nigerian Electricity Regulation Commission said, “The power and telecommunications sectors are key economic pillars in Nigeria. Paying attention to their growth and development will only further the diversification of our economy. This conference was enlightening in terms of the various ways in which we can expand within and outside of our industry. It addressed key concerns that will ultimately lead to a better understanding of both industries. It provided insight through engaging sessions with experts, which I believe will have significant impact in the near future.”
The Conference hosted the largest gathering of experts within the power and telecommunications industry to try to ensure the continued development of Nigeria’s telecommunications industry.