By Juliet Umeh
The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has said the reason Nigeria witnessed sharp increase in broadband penetration within five years was due to the Commission’s key policy initiatives.
The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, EVC, Prof. Umar Danbatta made the remarks during a virtual interactive session with the media chiefs and news editor and the Commission.
He noted that penetration had impressively moved from less than six percent in 2015 to 42.02 percent as at July 2020 penetration.
According to him, the key policy initiatives the NCC had embarked upon within these years include: increasing the number of licensed Infrastructure Companies, InfraCo, to six across the geo-political zones; spectrum refarming; spectrum re-planning; spectrum auctions; and administrative spectrum assignments, among others.
He said: “The Commission is presently in the process of finalizing the six Infraco’s counterpart funding agreement to ensure the full rollout of broadband infrastructure on an Open Access Model, OAM, and this will ensure there is Point of Access in each of the 774 local governments in the country.”
Danbatta also remarked that the increase in broadband penetration has brought about growth of subscriber base in the country.
He said: “The increase in broadband penetration has enabled the growth of the subscriber base which was 199,307,796 as at June 2020.
“Teledensity has risen to 104.41 while the percentage contribution to GDP in Q2 2020 was 14.2 percent,” he noted.
He added that NCC is working with the Nigeria Industrial Policy and Competiveness Advisory Council (Critical Infrastructure Sub Committee) under the auspices of the Vice President, Yemi Osibanjo GCON, on various initiatives towards improving Broadband Penetration.
EVC said: “To underscore the importance of the sector to the economy, in June 2020, the Federal Government designated telecoms facilities as Critical National Infrastructure, CNI.
“The Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA, and all security agencies have since been notified of Mr. President’s directive to that effect,” he added.