Driven by the vision to build a telecommunications market defined by universal access, the Nigerian Telecommunications Commission (NCC) with its long-standing tradition of being a proactive regulatory approach, introduced policies and initiatives aimed at promoting the provision of efficient, available, affordable and easily accessible communications services throughout Nigeria.
This was stated by the Commission’s Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta at the 5th edition of the Nigeria Innovation Week.
Prof. Danbatta sad the force behind the policies was to prepare the industry for the uncertainties and challenges that lay ahead, considering the disruptions caused by evolving technologies effective regulatory efforts.
According to him, the NCC has been able to deepen connectivity in the country during his first term in office, Danbattab said the NCC has been able to deepen connectivity in the country by placing emphasis on broadband to drive innovation, and hopes to take broadband penetration to 70% by 2025 in line with the new target in the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NBBP), 2020-2025.
On the InfraCos Danbatta disclosed 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) aimed at enhancing digital transformation and this will ensure there is Point of Access in each of the 774 local governments in the country.
He said NCC effort to increased broadband penetration from less than 6 percent in 2015 to 43.30 percent broadband subscriptions in the country as of August, 2020 have been very instrumental to the emergence and survival of SMEs that have had to ride on the backbone of telecoms infrastructure during COVID-19 pandemic.
“NCC has been the major linkage in the drive for optimum economic development, as it remains the pioneer for all the major disruptions that would drive the nation’s economic reboot, especially the financial systems riding on electronic innovations.
“These innovations are driven by the availability of a robust communications infrastructure made possible by the Commission’s continuous quest for investment in the sector.
“NCC’s Emergency Communication Centers (ECC) have been crucial in the Federal Government’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, with over 1,209 COVID-19-related calls made between March and June 2020 from the nineteen (19) ECCs across the country. The establishment of the ECCs by the Commission across the nation was borne out of the need to safeguard all Nigerians irrespective of their geographical locations,” Danbatta said.