Federal Government needs to do more for indigenous businesses

VDT Communication, has urged the Federal Government to do more to empower indigenous businesses  to create jobs and boost the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Group Managing Director, VDT Communication, Mr Biodun Omoniyi, said the government must not only promote indigenous businesses, but also strive to protect them.

Omoniyi, who spoke with select reporters on the sidelines of activities to commemorate the 20-year anniversary of the company in Lagos at the weekend, said the government must change its approach of insisting that businesses compete or go into extinction.

He said a telecoms firm such as MTN didn’t just rose to become the largest operator in South Africa without government’s support, adding that policy makers must bring intentional policies to promote local businesses in the country.

Speaking to the steady depletion of the internet service providers (ISPSs) in the country, he said harsh regulations, multiple taxations and a whole lot of other factors conspired to push them into extinction.

He however called for the establishment of what he called “special fund’ to intervene in the sector.

The  Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), had in a report, identified competition with mobile network operators (MNOs), harsh business operating environment, and inadequate national broadband infrastructure as some of the problems that have led to the depletion of ISPs in the country,

The regulator, in a recent study entitled:  An exploratory study on the challenges and survivability of ISP licencees in the Nigerian telecoms sector showed that at a time, there were some 170 ISPs in the country, adding that it has licensed 143 as at last October 26.

On the journey so far, Omoniyi said the service provision of the firm is nationwide with 143 Points of Presence (PoPs) and counting across every state and Abuja.

“With this spread, we are closer to our customers. This has helped us to offer prompt and high quality service support to delight our customers nationwide.

“VDT Communications operates one of the most advanced telecoms networks in the country. Our network infrastructure design is structured towards providing a broad range of end-to-end efficient and reliable IP-based (data and voice communications) services while building a long-term, trusted partnership with our various customers.,’’ he said.

“The services provided by VDT include: Enterprise connectivity (Longhaul and metro) and corporate internet to all parts of Nigeria via national carrier backbone. Retail Service; 4G LTE Broadband internet service; SME and APN Services among others. VDT Communications successfully scaled our service infrastructure to 99.9per cent uptime since 2015. We now generally guarantee 99.999 per cent service availability through the use of multiple carrier trunks while maintaining low latency,” he said, adding that the firm provides services to about 95 per cent of banks and 80 per cent of insurance companies as well as leading multi-national companies, government agencies and blue-chip companies across various sectors of the economy.

The NCC’s report had identified other challenges of ISPs to include multiple taxation; vandalism of infrastructure; disparity between advertised internet speeds and actual speed obtainable on the networks; inadequate provision of redundancy by ISPs to handle network downtime and lack of compensation for downtime; poor quality of service; inexplicable depletion of data services; and auto renewal of service, among others.

Will 5G Work in Nigeria?

Last month, there was a lot of celebration (especially within the tech community) around the arrival of 5G in Nigeria, courtesy of MTN. The announcement implied that Nigeria is now on track to launch the 5G network commercially, joining other African countries such as Lesotho and South Africa. But is Nigeria ready for 5G? Before I answer that question, let me tell you a quick story.

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