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Broadband penetration hits 47.01 per cent, says Danbatta

By Murtala Adewale, Kano
17 September 2023   |   2:51 pm
The Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Professor Umar Danbatta, has said that the commission has said broadband penetration of network in Nigeria presently stands at 47.01 per cent. Although NCC boss noted that the commission was on the steady move to meet 70 per cent penetration target in 2025, he was optimistic that…

Danbatta

The Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Professor Umar Danbatta, has said that the commission has said broadband penetration of network in Nigeria presently stands at 47.01 per cent.

Although NCC boss noted that the commission was on the steady move to meet 70 per cent penetration target in 2025, he was optimistic that speed of network would hit 50 per cent before the end of 2023.

Professor Danbatta gave the assurance yesterday during a special media engagement with journalists and Chief Executives in Kano.

Danbatta, who took time to reel out model achievements recorded in the last eight years at the helm of affairs, expressed satisfaction that telecom sector takes second lead among top contributors to National Gross Domestic Products GDP with cumulative figure of 16 per cent at the end of the third quarter.

Although, the commission witnessed drop in foreign direct investments (FDI’s) into the inflow falling by almost 50 per cent in 2022, Danbatta disclosed that NCC generated US$900 million into Federal government coffers from the proceeds of 5G action towards the end of last year.

The Chief Executive Officer of the commission added that 220 million Nigerians now used mobile telephone while 160 million subscribe to internet with tele-density stood at 115.70 per cent.

Professor Danbatta who gave account of his stewardship from 2015 when he was appointed as Chief Executive, said he had recorded 119 milestones from the strategic management plan and vision plan sect out.

He revealed that the first five years’ vision had yielded significant progress especially in the area of broadband penetration, improved quality service and optimum delivery as well as empowerment and protection of customers relations.

According to him, the strategic goals which was subsequently reviewed as building block to further consolidated the efforts of the commission has further enhanced efficient regulation and development of telecommunications.

“On the broadband penetration, NCC has significant exceeded expectations in the areas of penetration and spectrum coverage. Broadband penetration now hit 47.01 per cent. Although, the new national policy on broadband has set target of 70 per cent by 2025, I can assure you that NCC is working hard to exceed the target.

“Again, let me inform you that 220 million Nigerians now used mobile phones and 160 million Nigerians have subscribed to internet. Already, the Information and Telecommunications is contributing 16 per cent to GDP”, Danbatta noted.

On the crisis that almost crippled smooth operation of operators and other key stakeholders in the telecom industry, Professor Danbatta revealed the critical role played by NCC to avert what could have degenerated into national embarrassment.

Some of the issues resolved, he said, include the impediment on interconnect debt dispute between mobile network operators and the unresolved development on Unstructured Supplementary Service Data USSD, which created impasse between telecom operators and financial institutions.

The NCC boss equally emphasized the impact of the commission on academic development through investment in research and intellectual growth across public universities in the country. Danbatta said over N500 million has been spent as research grant and endowment in the areas of telecommunications development.

While regretting the vandalism of telecom facilities and equipment as well as multiple levies and taxation as part of challenges facing the operators and regulators, Professor Danbatta said the commission will continue to devise alternative means to overcome the obstacles.

He however pointed out plans to sustain digital investment in the industry, fostering innovation in telecom ecosystem, enhance cyber-security and promote consumer protection as part of strategic future plan for the commission.