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Statement by H.E. Mr. Alh Ikra Aliyu Bilbis, Minister of State for Information and Communications

Mr. Chairman, May I On behalf of the Delegation of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, congratulate you on your well deserved appointment as Chairman of the 2009 World Telecommunication Policy Forum. I pledge the full support and cooperation of my delegation as you pilot the affairs of this forum.

I would also like to pay my compliments to, Dr. Hamadoun Toure, the Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and his staff for the excellent arrangements made for this Conference. We are also appreciative of the support and facilities the Government of the Republic of Portugal has given to the ITU as well as its contributions to the global ICT development.

Mr. Chairman, Excellencies, I would like to avail myself of this opportunity to share with this August body, the significant progress made by Nigeria in the ICT industry. Nigeria’s achievements that have been acknowledged globally within the industry include:

  • The establishment of an investor-friendly environment that has facilitated investment in the industry, resulting in tremendous growth from 2001 to date, in a market endured with a lot of potentials and opportunities for further development;
  • The significant increase in the number of telephone lines from five hundred thousand in 2000 to over sixty-four million today. It is for this feat that Nigeria has been acclaimed as one of the fastest growing mobile telecommunications markets in the world;
  • The launching of a disaster monitoring satellite as well as a communication satellite;
  • Embarked on a comprehensive Rural Telephony Scheme to ensure that all parts of Nigeria are integrated into the information society;
  • Established a National Internet Exchange Point to improve internet penetration and local exchange of Internet traffic within Nigeria
  • E-applications initiatives at all levels are being implemented;
  • Established Wire Nigeria (WIN) and State Accelerated Broadband Initiative (SABI) projects to improve broadband availability.

Nigeria, as a member of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) recognizes the importance of an efficient, dynamic and vibrant Union where all member states could take full advantage of the opportunities available in all affairs of the Union.

Mr. Chairman, Excellencies, I would like to assure you that Nigeria is committed to ensuring that this Union continues to play prominent role in promoting and facilitating wider accessibility to ICT in Africa and around the world.

I thank you for your attention and wish you a successful Conference.