Broadband is Critical to Mobile Economy says NCC


Nahimah Ajikanle Nurudeen

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said that the country needed broadband to drive mobile economy.

Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta on Thursday at the 2017 Nigeria Mobile Economy Summit and Expo (NiMES) in Lagos stated that this informed the telecoms sector regulatory body to be working and encouraging the deployment of broadband.

Danbatta who was represented by the Director, Research and Development, NCC, Mrs Iyabo Sholanke expressed the commission’s optimism in surpassing the 30 per cent broadband penetration target by 2018.

He said with projects and strategies put in place the NCC to drive broadband development, it certain that the the 30 per cent target would be surpassed.

According to him, with the Nigerian National Broadband Plan target and having 24 per cent penetration; by 2018, NCC is hopeful that the country will surpass the target.

He said broadband was one of the focus points in his 8-point agenda.

He said, “We are also licensing Infrastructure Companies (InfraCos) that will drive the broadband infrastructure deployment. By the time that is done, we hope that there will escalation of broadband in Nigeria.”

The EVC said that the commission was also talking with the right stakeholders to solve some of the problems associated with the deployment of broadband.

He said, “As you can see, we have the likes of Konga, Jumia, Yudala and a lot of start-ups who are doing something with broadband. You can not really do much with mobile money, mobile economy or ecommerce without broadband.”

“We are trying to encourage young people to develop software to tap into ICT as the next level of development in the world, the EVC said.”

In his goodwill message, the Executive Secretary, the Association of Telecommunications Licensed Operators of Nigeria ( ALTON), Mr. Gbolahan Awonuga noted that telecoms is infrastructure based sector hence, the need for stakeholders to speak against high cost of getting Right of Way (RoW).

He called on hands to be on the deck on protecting telecoms infrastructures.

Danbatta won the ”Africa Information Society Merit Award” at NiMES.

Speaking on the award, the convener of NiMES, Dr Bayero Agabi said that the ”African Information Society Merit Award” was given once in two years for whoever was able to use his or her office to promote ICT.

Agabi said that when Danbatta came on board as the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, he came up with the 8-point agenda.

He said that seven of the agenda had reached almost 80 per cent of completion.

According to him, there are series of interventions that the EVC has ensured, to ensure the growth of ICT in the country.