Awka - A renowned Economist, Dr Chu Okongwu, has called for re-nationalisation of the Nigerian Telecommunications (NITEL).
Okongwu, a one-time Finance Minister, made the call at the 3rd Annual lecture series of the Economics Department of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka on Friday.
His lecture is entitled, "National Security and the Nigerian Economy in the 21st Century."
Okongwu said the repositioning and effectiveness of NITEL would make Nigeria have easy access to high speed Internet for better communication, research and development.
"Nigeria's foremost telecommunication outfit should be strategically restructured and positioned to reap bountifully from the ever booming and lucrative Nigerian telecommunications industry.
"The Federal Government should mandate NITEL to build the National Fixed Fiber Backbone network around the country, this would better permit Nigeria to join the rest of the world in the 21st century economy,” he said.
He said the major threat to world and national security was the redistribution of resources and mass illiteracy among the population.
Okongwu said national security could be better achieved if Nigerian government address the issues of education, housing, infrastructure and indigenisation of technology.
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"Man is both the agent and target of development, society-wide education especially in relation to literacy and numeracy is obligatory as a strategy and goal.
"Urgent and correct steps should be taken to stimulate rapid development of local building materials, industries, facilitate mortgage financing, create secondary market and increased access to such financing.
"The deplorable state of our infrastructure is such that the nation stands in danger of losing her investment of over 30 billion dollars in the road network alone," he said.
Also, Prof. Adewale Alawiye-Adams of Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, said the theme of the lecture was apt as Nigerian economy had suffered retardation due to multiplicity of national security challenges.