News Column

Mixed Feelings Over Threat On ICT Sector Investments

August 11, 2014

Adeyemi Adepetun



- Business outsourcing initiative cancelled due to scourge

STAKEHOLDERS in the Nigerian Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector have expressed mixed feelings over the threat of Ebola virus to the country's investment profile in the sector.

Speaking to The Guardian, the Chairman of Mobile Software Solution, Chris Uwaje, informed that the scourge was already taking toll on some investment drives.

According to him, a group of World Bank officials, who were coming in for Business Outsourcing Process (BPO) initiative cancelled the trip on the advice of their grant because of the scourge.

While regretting the danger of the scourge to the economy as a whole, Uwaje, the former President of the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON), also disclosed that some high networth investors billed to come in from Austria had to reschedule their appointment.

The expert, whose firm has created an App called, "Ebola Nationwide Mobile Report Centre," said it was imperative to deploy IT expertise and skills to engage and curtail the spread, adding that he has deployed a team to create Ebola Database Engine, an App to capture Ebola report online nationwide.

"It has now been developed and accessible free of charge at this link: http://bit.ly/1opksI4," he stressed, noting ICT can help curtail the spread, as information is critical now.

Describing the situation as unfortunate, Chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Gbenga Adebayo, said that members were already providing support for all stakeholders, including government and the public.

Adebayo said that members were sending mass SMS, among others, to the populace through the mobile phone on how to prevent and report any discovered case, even as a member "is providing a helpline, 080EBOLAHELP, to the Federal Government.

On the downside of the scourge on the telecommunications sector, Adebayo said there would be restriction on trade, just like in other sectors, because people who want to visit for trade purposes will think twice.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Communications Technology, Dr. Omobola Johnson, has refuted a claim that mobile phone use causes cancer, as been circulated in some sections of the media. According to her, there are no proven health hazards resulting from the use of mobile phones or proximity to telecommunications installations that could pose a risk to human health for now.


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Source: AllAfrica


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