By Stanley Iwuoha
The executive Vice chairman, EVC of Nigerian Communications Commission
Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta has explained that the Seven Infrastructure Companies currently under construction will close access gaps, enhance digital transformation and ensure there is Point of Access in each of the 774 local governments in the country.
Determined to bridge access gap across the country, Danbatta said the Commission has intensified its focus on the established key performance indicators (KPIs) for quality of service by instituting a regime of rigorous and continuous monitoring of the networks to ensure that they operate in tandem with set parameters.
This he said led the Commission’s initiative to license Infrastructure Companies (INFRACOs) to bridge existing gaps to further improve not only broadband penetration but the quality of broadband experience.
Danbatta was speaking while delivering his keynote address at the 5th edition of Nigeria Innovation Week held on Tueday.
With the six (6) licensed INFRACOs, one in each geo-political zone of the country, and one in Lagos State, the NCC boss assured that the Commission is in the process of finalizing the six Infracos Counterpart Funding Agreement to galvanise the full rollout of broadband infrastructure on an Open Access Model (OAM).
His words: ‘‘The result of this initiative is that apart from meeting and surpassing the 30 percent broadband penetration in December, 2018, in line with the NBP 2013-2018 target, NCC increased broadband penetration from less than 6 percent in 2015 to 43.30 percent by August 2020.
‘‘This translates to 82, 653,247 broadband subscriptions in the country as of August, 2020. These measures have been very instrumental to the emergence and survival of SMEs that have had to ride on the backbone of telecoms infrastructure during this pandemic”.
Danbatta said recent experiences underscored the need for the Commission to continue to invest in research and innovation in order to find lasting solutions to current and emerging problems facing the country.
According to him, the NCC boss noted that the Commission has been supporting research efforts in our tertiary institutions to come up with local solutions for local problems.
The EVC, who was represented at the event by the Director of Public Affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, further revealed that the Commission had also empowered the Nigerian youths by promoting their ingenuity and innovation on developing locally-relevant technology solutions.