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We’ve licenced Infracos to deploy broadband infrastructure in rural areas – NCC

Telcos NCC

Ladesope Ladelokun

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says it has proceeded to licence infrastructure companies for each of the seven zones, to deploy broadband infrastructure that will ensure speed of up to 25 megabits per second in the rural areas.

The commission says each of the 774 Local Government Areas of Nigeria will have an initial access point of at least 10 megabits per second.

Professor Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer(EVC/CEO) of the Nigerian Communications Commission, disclosed this at the International Conference Centre Abuja while delivering a keynote presentation at the 2021 national conference, exhibition, and annual general meeting of the Nigerian Society of Engineers

The EVC emphasised that telecoms infrastructure deployment across rural communities in Nigeria is at the heart of every effort of government towards ensuring the socio-economic development of Nigeria.

At the conference, with the overarching theme “EXPANSION OF THE ENERGY MIX FOR NATIONAL ECONOMIC GROWTH”, Danbatta spoke focusing on a sub-theme,

“Strategic Collaboration between the Town and Gown for Effective Rural Development”, at the 6th Roundtable Symposium of the Nigerian Society of Engineers’ College of Fellows.

The NCC CEO said that the vision of the Federal Government as enunciated in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (2020-2030) and the National Broadband Plan (2020-2025) is being vigorously implemented.

Explaining the connection between these policies and NCC’s operations, Danbatta stated that the NCC’s Strategic Management Plan (SMP) 2020-2024, streamlined in the Commission’s Strategic Vision Plan (2021-2025) to enhance operational and regulatory efficiency, is aligned with the Federal Government’s vision for an all-inclusive digital economy.

The EVC affirmed that there is timeframe for the implementation of these projects, including the building of specialised technology centres in the rural areas to enable stakeholders to harness huge benefits of ICT.

Prof. Danbatta said one of the benefits of digital economy that NCC has collaborated with stakeholders to bring to fruition, is in the area of digital inclusion, where NCC has been collaborating with stakeholders, including the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to ensure the target of 80 percent digital inclusion is achieved within the timeframe.

He said NCC will continue to collaborate with relevant stakeholders to enhance innovation, competition and participation in governance by the citizenry, which is one of the hallmarks of digital culture.

The EVC informed the enthusiastic audience at the Conference that Nigeria already has about 40,000 unique transceiver stations and their uniqueness is underpinned by their characteristics as enablers of 2G, 3G and 4G technologies.

However, Prof. Danbatta asserted that this figure is inadequate for a country with Nigeria’s size and population.

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Chuka Francis

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