Communication ministry pushing for ICT development bank – Shittu

Adebayo Shittu, minister of communications, says the ministry is pushing for the establishment of an information communication technology (ICT) development bank.

Speaking during a valedictory press conference organised for him in Abuja, Shittu said the proposed bank would serve as a special purpose vehicle to propel the growth of the ICT sector under a private-public partnership (PPP).

He added that the bank would support stakeholders and technology start-ups at low-interest rates.

While highlighting some achievements of the ministry under his leadership since November 2015, Shittu said that the country had recorded increased deployment of technology through significant investments.

He said government agencies have embraced technologies like blockchain, internet of things, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, 3D printing and big data.

“There are over 50, 000 base transmitter stations and over 150, 000 kilometres fibre broadband infrastructure,” he explained.

“Five mobile radio frequency monitoring equipment and national spectrum management systems have been launched for effective monitoring of frequency bands.

“The first mobile radio frequency monitory equipment, a national spectrum system, a Denial of Service (DOS) equipment, and a national control centre in Abuja have also been launched.”

Speaking further, he said the ministry is concerned about the plight of service providers.

“The national economic council has approved a policy to harmonise rights of way charges payable by telecom companies and related public utility infrastructure on local governments, states and federal highways.

“This is a policy to minimise the spaces occupied, the burden on the roads and reduce taxes payable by telecom operators.”

He also urged that the 2012 National ICT Policy and the Nigerian Communications Act be reviewed as they are crucial in the development of the sector.