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Government commends NCC for regulatory strides

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

*Dr. William Alo, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, applauds the Nigerian Communications Commission for remarkable strides, says ‘your efforts are generally felt in the economy’

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

The Federal Government has commended the leadership of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on the remarkable strides of the foremost telecoms sector regulatory Commission in the West African country.

The government noted the NCC has earned “spectacular international reputation for Nigeria and placed the telecoms regulator in the forefront” in the country’s quest for forward-looking national economic growth.

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

ConsumerConnect reports Dr. William Alo, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, said this recently while receiving the Management team of the Commission, led by Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman/Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of the Commission,  who briefed him on the status of the industry following the former’s recent appointment to the Ministry.

Mr. Reuben Muoka, Director of Public Affairs at NCC, Tuesday, August 9, 2022, noted Dr. Alo said: “So far so good. The entire country, and beyond, is fully aware of the strategic importance of the NCC as a regulating institution of the telecommunications industry in Nigeria.

“And, of course, we are aware today that between oil and communications, the latter is gradually taking over in the provision of revenue for the country as the nation strives to diversify the economy.”

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The Permanent Secretary said of a truth, the quality of service in the telecoms ecosystem has improved tremendously over the past few years now.

He stressed that the Commission deserves a pat on the back for what it has done in that direction. “Your efforts are generally felt in the economy. So when you talk of digitalisation of the economy, the NCC and the operators are the first port of call,” stated he.

Alo, therefore, urged the leadership of the Commission to continue the good work and also strive to mind and bridge the infrastructure gap in the Information and Communications Technology and telecoms space, which may create a gap between the served and underserved communities in the country.

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Prof. Danbatta, who provided a detailed briefing about the achievements of NCC and its efforts at addressing all the challenges confronting the industry, intimated him with the key focus and targets of the Commission through the Strategic Vision (Implementation) Plan SVP 2021–2025.

According to the Commission, the SVP highlights the provisions of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) 2020-2030, and National Broadband Plan 2020-2025.

The NCC EVC/CEO also stated the SVP, which streamlines all policies for a robust sectoral lifting and relevance, has five focus areas, including operational efficiency and regulatory excellence; facilitation of infrastructure provision for the digital economy.

Others are promotion of fair competition, inclusive growth and investment; improvement of quality of serve and quality of experience; and facilitation of strategic collaboration and partnership.

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

Danbatta, who led a team of the two Executive Commissioners, and Directors of the Commission to the briefing, listed successes recorded since 2015 in teledensity, Broadband penetration, and significant contribution of the industry to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which he disclosed grew from 8.5 percent 4th Quarter (Q4) 2015 to 12.61 percent in Q4 2021.

He said the sector also attracted over $2 billion in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) during the period.

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

The NCC Chief as well listed some other key achievements of the Commission under his leadership to include the recent successful auction of 3.5GHz Spectrum for 5G services, licensing of seven fibre optics infrastructure providers, and adding about 38,296 kilometers of fibre optic in the country.

Danbatta noted that access gap clusters in the country have been reduced from 217 to 114 to enable 15 million Nigerian consumers have access to telecommunications services, and increase of fibre optic deployments from 47,000 kilometers to 54,725 kilometers.

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The number of 3G and 4G Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) in the country has increased from less than 30,000 in 2015 to 53,460 while seven VSAT gateway earth stations have been licensed to boost Broadband penetration in Nigeria, he noted.

The EVC/CEO further informed the new Permanent Secretary that the Commission under his watch has also remitted N463 billion to the Consolidated Revenue Fund from 2015 to April 2022, while landing permits have been issued to 53 Geo Satellite Orbits space stations and 923 non-GSO space stations.

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