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

Digital connectivity enhances consumers’ quality of life: Danbatta

*Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman and CEO of the Nigerian Communications Commission, restates the telecoms sector regulator is dedicated to activating regulatory initiatives aimed at deepening digital connectivity for the overall economic development of the West African country

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

In consonance with the ongoing deployment of 5G networks in the country, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has stressed the quality of life is now being measured in terms of digital connectivity that promotes businesses, social and economic wellbeing of the citizens.

ConsumerConnect reports Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of the Commission, stated this Wednesday, November 9, 2022, through Dr. Augustine Nwulunne, Director of Digital Economy at NCC,  in a keynote at the 2022 Africa Tech Alliance Forum in Lagos.

Danbatta said digital connectivity has a major role in advancing the gains of development and sustaining the future.

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The EVC/CEO of the telecoms regulatory Commission also noted the technology is required in attaining the needed quota for a sustainable future, and in actualising the objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Centrality of digital connectivity to quality of life

Mr. Reuben Muoka, Director of Public Affairs at NCC, Wednesday noted that Prof. Danbatta spoke on the theme, “Creating a Sustainable Future through Connectivity”, and cited studies to buttress the centrality of digital connectivity to quality of life.

The NCC Chief Executive stated that the Commission is dedicated to activating regulatory initiatives aimed at deepening connectivity for the overall economic development of Nigeria.

The EVC/CEO further said: “Connectivity and development in Nigeria have not been fortuitous.

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“Rather, they have been as a result of measured, painstaking and strategic policies implementation in the telecommunications sector by the NCC and relevant stakeholders.

“We are committed to driving robust and vibrant telecoms sector to enhance further growth of Nigerian economy in all its spheres.”

Telecommunications sector, he noted, has become an enabler of economic growth, providing the necessary digital succours that bring greater efficiency in service deliveries in education, healthcare, transportation, commerce, financial services, and other sectors of the economy.

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These come with greater impact on the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as well as enhancing other sectoral growth correlating to each of the 17 goals of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Danbatta said.

The Commission stated the highlight of the event was the decoration of  Danbatta with an award of “5G Core Leadership Award” while the Commission was named as the corporate organisation with “Best Digital Economy Project of the Year 2022” for the regulatory efforts of the Commission at driving the commercial deployment of Fifth Generation (5G) networks in Nigeria.

Deployment of requisite infrastructure

The Executive Vice-Chairman said the NCC, through various policies and initiatives, has provided an enabling environment for a fair and liberalised telecommunications industry.

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This the Commission undertakes by emplacing appropriate regulatory tools and providing relevant regulatory services for Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), who are the primary providers of telecommunications services in the country.

He said: “The Commission has provided the enabling environment to stimulate the deployment of necessary infrastructure pertinent to the provision of universal and affordable connectivity. “The resultant effect of this is that today, we now have over 210 million active telephone lines, representing 110 percent teledensity; and over 150 million Internet subscribers as well as 45 percent Broadband penetration which has enabled over 80 million Broadband subscriptions.”

RELATED: Regulator Outlines Measures To Enhance Internet Connectivity For Nigerian Consumers, Businesses

Danbatta as well said: “Telecommunications has been credited with lifting millions of Nigerians out of poverty; diversifying the economy and providing over $70billion to Nigeria’s GDP; it has also provided thousands of Nigerians with various employment opportunities.

Telecoms contribution to GDP

“A glance at Nigeria’s historical data on its GDP portrays the upward trajectory of the country’s GDP since the liberalisation of the telecommunications sector.

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“In 2001, Nigeria’s GDP was $74.03 billion, in 2005, it grew to $176.13 billion, and it currently stands at $440.78 billion, and telecom has been a key driver of this growth.”

The EVC/CEO told the audience that the Commission is also driving implementation of various policies and frameworks, including the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP) 2020-2025, the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) 2020-2030; and the ongoing deployment of Fifth Generation (5G) networks, and other digital interventionist projects aimed at driving universal service availability, accessibility, and availability.

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