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‘Ministry awaits court’s verdict on MTN’s suit against fine’

Shittu

Shittu

• To unveil blueprint for ICT sector’s growth soon

THE Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, has said that the Ministry of Communications would await the determination of the court in the case between the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and embattled MTN Nigeria over the $3.4 billion fine to know what further actions would be taken on the matter.

Shittu, who stated this yesterday in Lagos, during his visit to Omatek Ventures, as part of his official visit to stakeholders in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector, reiterated that nobody wants the downfall of MTN or any other company whether local or international in the country.

According to him, because the case is already in court, “it is difficult to comment on such matter. However, the ministry will await the determination of the court before any further action will be taken on the matter.”

Shittu said no operator has been specifically targeted but that it is expected of service providers to understand and obey rules and regulations that govern their operations in the country.

The minister also used the visit to inform of plans to unveil a blueprint for the sector.

According to him, the blueprint, which will be unveiled in the third week of January 2016, will among others focus on further developing the ICT sector, with focus on local content growth.

Shittu, however, said there will not be much departure from some of the foundation already laid by the former minister, Dr. Omobola Johnson.

“By January, the blueprint for ICT development in Nigeria will be unveiled. Whatever is on ground would form part of it. The change mantra is to improve on regulations in the industry,” he stressed.

While commending the efforts of indigenous ICT players including Omatek for what he described as a pioneering role in the sector, Shittu promised that all efforts will be channel towards ensuring that their products and services get patronage in the country.

He assured that a local content development policy would be implemented to protect indigenous players in the industry.

According to him, the ministry will galvanise right policies that will see to the need of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs), stressing that government’s role is to provide enabling environment within a free market economy.

Receiving the minister, the Chief Executive Officer of Omatek, Florence Seriki, reiterated the need for government to encourage patronage of local products, stressing that this was key to ensuring economic growth.

Seriki urged Shittu to carry stakeholders along in the drive towards achieving sustainable ICT sector in the country.

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