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NCC committed to addressing telecoms infrastructure deficit, improved broadband services ─Danbatta

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

*The Nigerian Communications Commission emphasises the centrality of infrastructure to telecoms service provisioning and availability of adequate broadband infrastructure  strategy towards delivering pervasive services to telecoms consumers in the West African country

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

In line with the Commission’s mandate to implement extant and emergent policies, and strategies of the Federal Government on broadband infrastructure, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says it is irrevocably committed to the implementation of various regulatory initiatives and programmes in the country.

The telecoms sector regulator stated that it is focused on achieving this in collaboration “with all stakeholders in the telecoms ecosystem, towards bridging identified gaps and shortages in critical telecoms infrastructure in the country.”

RELATED: Danbatta Restates NCC’s Commitment To Broadband, Consumer Protection, Digital Economy

The NCC emphasised the overarching objective is to fulfil Commission’s mandate, and support extant and emergent policies and strategies of the Federal Government regarding the provision of ubiquitous, accessible and affordable broadband services in Nigeria.

ConsumerConnect reports Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of NCC, stated this during a recent in-house interview at the Commission’s Head Office in Abuja, FCT.

Prof. Danbatta stressed the centrality of infrastructure to telecoms service provisioning by asserting that availability of broadband in sufficiency is non-negotiable and irreducible in the country’s strategy towards delivering pervasive telecoms services to consumers.

READ ALSO: NCC Activating Strategic Plan For Broadband Infrastructure, All-Inclusive Digital Economy ─Danbatta

The EVC/CEO, who also put the government’s efforts at addressing infrastructure gaps in context, commended both state and non-state actors for the vision, diligence and continued dedication to the implementation of the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP) 2020-2025, an initiative of the Federal Government, being driven by NCC and conceived to address infrastructure gaps in the telecoms and ICT sector of the economy.

Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, Director of Public Affairs at NCC, Monday, February 21, 2022, stated Danbatta said he was gratified, that the new plan particularly took into consideration the identified gaps and challenges in its precursor, the National Broadband Plan 2013-2018, to which implementation the NCC was equally central.

According to Danbatta, one of the identified gaps to robust connectivity is the fact that inadequate infrastructure remain a bane to achieving desired broadband penetration to boost access to services that will enhance economic growth and development.

READ ALSO: Danbatta Restates NCC’s Commitment To Telecoms Consumers’ Wellbeing, Highlights SVP 2021-2025

He emphasised that the Commission recognises the importance of infrastructure expansion and this explains its unequivocal commitment and desire to see the licensed Infrastructure Companies (InfraCos) work speedily and with precision to cascade fibre to the hinterland, in order to enhance robust telecom service provision.

The InfraCo licensees, expectedly, also prioritise stipulated licensing conditions to ensure expected milestones set by the Commission are achieved, Danbatta also noted.

He further stated that the Commission’s target for licensing the InfraCos was to ensure the deployment of fibre infrastructure needed for pervasive broadband penetration across the 774 local government areas (LGAs) in Nigeria.

READ ALSO: Telecoms Regulator Urges Responsible Use Of Internet, Protection Of Telecoms Infrastructure

This, he said, will ensure access to telecoms services in the hinterlands of the country, and by so doing address the challenges of access confronting the unserved and underserved areas of the country.

Danbatta also placed on record Commission’s desire for inclusiveness as seminal to erecting sustainable telecoms architecture.

This, according to him, is critical in ensuring the achievement of Federal Government’s target on digital access and financial inclusion.

The NCC as well stated that a visible area of beneficial financial service riding on telecoms infrastructure is the provision of Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) for financial transactions across various financial institutions’ platforms.

This feat, Danbatta asserted, has brought ease to financial transactions, even as he recalled that NCC is providing support for e-payment initiatives and policies of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), including the e-Naira project, which is the digital currency issued and regulated by the apex bank.

RELATED: How NCC Promotes Local Investments In Infrastructure, Competition For Telecoms Growth In Nigeria ─Danbatta

“So, the Commission is committed to ensuring inclusiveness by ensuring the provision of affordable and pervasive accessibility to the Internet as emphasised by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the United Nations (UN).

“We are aware that until commensurate infrastructure is deployed in the country, the country may not hit the required target necessary for the desired economic development,” said the EVC/CEO.

Danbatta further stated that the Commission has recorded remarkable progression with respect to contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

“This is besides facilitating investment, enhancing Quality of Service (QoS) to enhance consumer quality of experience and stakeholder satisfaction in line with the expectations of the Strategic Management Plan 2020-2024,” said he.

The NCC Chief assured that Commission will heightened efforts in all areas of the Plan as streamlined in new Strategic Vision Implementation Plan (SVIP) 2021-2025, including facilitating strategic collaboration and partnering through, which it has forged quantifiable strategic alliances with its ever-expanding array of stakeholders.

Concerning NCC’s pioneering strides in the deployment of Fifth Generation (5G) networks in Sub-Saharan Africa, Danbatta also explained that the rollout of 5G networks in Nigeria would require more infrastructure for the services to reach all parts of the country.

He, therefore, called for concerted efforts and unwavering commitment of all stakeholders for the country to achieve steady, timely, and accurate deployment of 5G services because of the benefits to individuals, businesses and the growth of the country.

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