MTN urged states to invest in ICT parks to drive digital skills acquisition

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By Jessica Dogo

The Chief Executive Officer of MTN Nigeria, Karl Toriola, has called on States in Nigeria to invest in ICT parks and create economic clusters.

Toriola, who made this call in a statement was a panelist on the topic “Collaboration for Sustainable Economic Development” at the 29th Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG29) in Abuja.

The theme of the NESG29 was: “Pathway to Sustainable Economic Transformation and Inclusion”.

He said this would stimulate sub-national collaboration and accelerate advancement in the ICT sector in the country.

Speaking specifically on possibilities between the telecoms industry and states, Toriola advocated closer partnership to ensure the development of digital skills.

He said, “I am waiting for the first state to create an ICT park. It is not an ICT park where you put a few data centres.

“I am talking about a complete environment where you allow limitless fiber to be rolled out to cover those kinds of locations, and where you allow leading technologies, with power and other infrastructure

“Whether you look at it from an international level, or regional or state level, capital will always flow to where the best return is.”

He also called on the States to create clusters around agriculture, mining and policy consistency in economic development.

Toriola commended the Nigerian Communications Commission for providing a strong regulatory framework to support the growth of the telecoms industry in Nigeria.

“The success of MTN and the telecommunications industry in Nigeria can be accounted for by clarity of policy and good institution building in our primary regulator.

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“However, we have also seen that at the sub-national levels, we see some level of inconsistencies of policies, multiple taxation, and inflation have become the major challenges companies are facing,” he said.

Other panelists included Gov. Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara and Gov. Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State.

They also advocated stronger collaborations between states to accelerate development in Nigeria. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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Edited by Bashir Rabe Mani

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