Nigeria: FG directs NCC to ensure even distribution of broadband

Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Nigerian Communications Commission to ensure that all nooks and crannies of the country is fully captured in the broadband deployment programme geared towards the enhancement of socio-economic development through telecommunication technology.

The Executive Vice-Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Dambatta, who stated this on Thursday in Kano during the first-leg of Broadband Engagement Forum for stakeholders in the North, said the country has already been divided into seven zones, namely: North-west, North-east, North-central, South-south, South-east, South-west and Lagos zones to ensure effective and equitable broadband service deployment.

He explained that the commision has set up an Implementation Monitoring Committee, not only to monitor the establishment of the broadband infrastructure project, but to also ensure adequate sensitization of all stakeholders, and as well proffer solutions to challenges of broadband deployment such as payment of taxes and right of way.

According to him, the tremendous capacity of broadband services at the Lagos landing points is not being felt in the hinterlands, pointing out that there was an urgent need to cover areas where the broadband services have not reached for the benefit of the people who are resident outside major cities.

He further noted that the implementation of the broadband project would certainly impact positively on the lives of Nigerians, adding that with broadband services, Nigeria can join the league of the 20 most powerful countries by the year 2020.

The executive vice-chairman noted that as it is presently, Nigeria has achieved telecommunications outreach of 160 million, and the broadband penetration of 20 percent.

According to him, “We have registered all the broadband infrastructure licenses; we have seven of them. The licenses have been given to seven companies, and I believe all of them have paid for the license.

“The license is very cheap; it is as cheap as N2.5 million. The government of President Muhammadu Buhari did not introduce the concept of Broadband Infrastructure Licence in order to make money.”

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Gbenga Ajao is a journalist. He has garnered experience in print, electronic and new media. He is passionate about mobile and web technology.

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