Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman and CEO of NCC

NCC committed to growth of e-governance, other Internet-driven services in Nigeria ─Danbatta

*The Nigerian Communications Commission highlights the various regulatory measures of the Commission towards deepening the adoption of e-Government and other Internet-driven services in the country

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has highlighted the various regulatory measures of the Commission towards deepening the adoption of e-Government and other Internet-driven services in the West African country.

Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of EVC/CEO of NCC, outlined the measures in his presentation at the Nigeria e-Government Summit 2021 held in Lagos recently.

ConsumerConnect reports the Prof. Danbatta, at the summit titled, “e-Government: Opportunities and Challenges”, focused on how the Nigerian Government ministries, agencies and parastatals can take advantage of advances in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to improve service delivery to Nigerian consumers.

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DigiServe Network Services Limited organised the summit in partnership with the NCC, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) and Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON).

The NCC EVC/CEO, represented on the occasion by Barr. Adeleke Adewolu, Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management of the Commission, stated that the NCC has been working assiduously with all stakeholders to deepen penetration of Broadband infrastructure and services which support the growth of e-Governance and other critical digital economy objectives throughout the country.

The Commission, he noted, recently unveiled its second Strategic Vision Plan (SVP)- 2021-2025, which enables it to effectively align with efforts of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) 2020-2030; the Nigerian National Broadband Plan 2020-2025; and other digital economy polices and global best practices.

Danbatta stated: “Leveraging the successes we achieved under our previous SVP, we are repositioning both the Commission and the entire industry to facilitate the availability of solid infrastructure and to proliferate digital platforms that effectively and efficiently enable digital inclusion throughout Nigeria.”

He as well highlighted some of the activities of NCC geared towards ensuring accessibility to efficient and affordable network infrastructure to power e-Government and other digital economy initiatives in the country.

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According to him, following the presidential approval of the Fifth Generation (5G) Policy, the NCC has developed a 5G Deployment Plan for Nigeria’s digital economy.

The telecoms regulatory Commission has set up a committee to auction the 3.5 gigahertz (GHz) band for 5G deployment in Nigeria, and the details will be announced in due course, said he.

The EVC of the Commission also disclosed that the telecoms sector regulator is currently updating the National Frequency Allocation Table (NFAT) in order to achieve more efficient spectrum allocation and usage to reflect World Radio Communications Conference (WRC)-19 recommendations.

The update of the spectrum allocation table is among several other initiatives being implemented by NCC to ensure efficient use of spectrum resource in the country, he stated.

Boosting investments in Broadband infrastructure

In a related development, Prof. Danbatta has disclosed the task of attracting investments into the Broadband infrastructure ecosystem in Nigeria is a collective responsibility.

He called for increased collaboration among all stakeholders so as to remove barriers to investment, which he listed as multiple taxation and regulation, arbitrary pricing of bottleneck resources such as Right-of-Way (RoW), time-consuming and unfriendly approval processes, among others.

The EVC/CEO of NCC further said: “These factors discourage investments in digital infrastructure and reduce the speed at which we provide our people with access to seamless digital service infrastructure for e-Governance and other services.”

Earlier in his address at the summit, Engr. Lanre Ajayi, Executive Chairman of DigiServe Network Services, said with the advent of democracy, expectations of citizens from governments are higher because citizens rate their governments largely on how efficient and effective government services are delivered to them.

Ajayi stated: “Hence, e-Government, which is essentially about the deployment of technologies in government processes and service delivery to citizens, provides immense opportunities for governments to deliver services to citizens most effectively and efficiently.”

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