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Broadband connectivity reaching underserved Nigerian telecoms consumers: Danbatta

L-R: Freda Bruce-Bennet, Deputy Director, Digital Economy Department, NCC) ; Sa'adatu Faruk, Head, Financial Inclusion Division, Market Development, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC); Dr. Uju Ogunbunka, Chairman, Bank Customers Association of Nigeria; Rasaaq Salami, Deputy Director, Corporate Communications & Market Development, National Insurance Commission (NAICOM); Yinka Isaac Representing David Anyaele, Executive Director Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), at the Inaugural Conference on Financial Inclusion in Lagos Photo: NCC

*Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman/CEO of the Nigerian Communications Commission, at a forum in Lagos, affirms the NCC has a mandate to ensure availability of universal access to telecoms services, irrespective of circumstances and locations of Nigerians and other consumers in the ecosystem

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said the West African country’s grassroots communities and the underserved population will not be left out in the implementation of the National Broadband Plan.

ConsumerConnect reports Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman/Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of NCC, stated this at a recent forum in Lagos, where he discussed the critical issue of financial inclusion expected to be facilitated by a robust infrastructure deployment for Broadband availability for telecoms services in the country.

A cross-section of participants in the event

The EVC/CEO of the telecoms sector regulatory Commission said the NCC was mindful of the infrastructure gaps in the country, and therefore, committed to driving the national digital economy at the grassroots.

READ ALSO: NCC Sensitises Students On Consumer Protection, To Address E-Frauds In Financial Services

Danbatta also noted: “As a Commission, we have a mandate to ensure availability of universal access to telecoms services irrespective of circumstances and locations of Nigerians and other users in Nigeria.”

Represented at the forum by Freda Bruce-Bennet of the Digital Economy Department of the  Commission, the Executive Vice-Chairman also informed the audience that voice communications enjoys over 100 percent penetration.

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Mr. Reuben Muoka, Director of Public Affairs at NCC, stated Prof. Danbatta further reiterated the NCC’s focus on supporting the quest for financial inclusion through provision of robust infrastructure, such as the Broadband.

At the event hosted by Oriental News Nigeria, an online news organisation, at the Sheraton Hotels and Towers, Ikeja, in Lagos, the forum focused on the topic: “Engaging with Critical Grassroots Groups to Develop Effective Financial Inclusion Initiatives”.

Bruce-Bennet as well disclosed the regulatory Commission has been at the forefront of driving technology platforms required to drive increased access to financial services by all and sundry.

READ ALSO WCRD 2022: NCC Assures Of Robust Digital Infrastructure For Financial Services, Activates TELCARE

The NCC official further cited the current implementation of an open access model (Infraco licensing) for deployment of Broadband infrastructure in the six geopolitical zones, as well as Lagos (which enjoys a special status within telecoms ecosystem), as one of the strategies adopted by the Commission to ensure a robust infrastructure deployments to support several platforms that can accelerate financial inclusion in the Nigerian economy.

The Commission has facilitated strategic partnerships with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the FinTech Association of Nigeria (FintechNGR), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Rockefeller Partnership Agreement (RPA), and other government agencies, to promote Digital Financial Services (DFS) and Digital Financial Inclusion (DFI) in the country, said Bruce-Bennet.

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

She stressed that the NCC, through its Digital Economy Department, is fostering the development of a portal for the Association of Skilled Vocational Artisans of Nigeria (ASVAN) for information and digital training purposes.

Speaking at the event, Dr. Uju Ogubunka, Chairman, Bank Customers Association of Nigeria, applauded the Commission  for its regulatory efforts at creating an enabling environment for digitised financial inclusion.

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

Ogubunka charged the participants and other government agencies present to take advantage of the information portal of the Commission to glean necessary information because robust digital economy will, among other things, improve the standard of living of the people who are willing to harvest the benefits.

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