NCC rates broadband penetration at 47.01 per cent
Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, at the weekend, put broadband penetration nationwide at 47.01 per cent.
Assuring the citizens that the regulation was focused on achieving 70 per cent penetration target in the next two years, Danbatta hinted that speedy network would hit 50 per cent before the end of this year.
The NCC boss, who addressing journalists and chief executives in Kano, took time to reel out the modest achievements recorded in the last eight years, while expressing satisfaction that the telecommunications sector contributed of 16 per cent to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the third quarter.
Though the commission witnessed almost 50 per cent drop in foreign direct investments (FDIs) in 2022, Danbatta, however, disclosed that the agency remiited $900 million to government coffers from proceeds of 5G action towards the end of last year.
The EVC added that 220 million Nigerians now use mobile telephone, while 160 million subscribe to the Internet, with tele-density standing at 115.70 per cent.
Rendering his stewardship from 2015, Danbatta said he had recorded 119 milestones in consonance with his strategic plan and vision.
He noted that the first five years vision had witnessed significant progress, especially in broadband penetration, improved quality service and optimum delivery, as well as empowerment and protection of customers’ relations.
On the crisis that almost crippled operators and other key stakeholders, the NCC helmsman recognised the critical role played by the regulator to save an otherwise national embarrassment.
Some of the issues resolved, according to Danbatta, include impediments to interconnect debt dispute between mobile network operators and lingering Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD).
He equally stressed the impact of the commission on academic development through investment in research and intellectual growth across public universities.
Danbatta said over N500 million had been spent as research grant and endowment in the areas of telecommunications development.
While regretting vandalism of telecoms facilities, installations, multiple levies, and taxation as part of challenges facing the operators and regulators, the NCC boss promised that commission will continue to devise alternative means to overcome the obstacles.
He revealed of plans to sustain digital investment in the industry, foster innovation in the ecosystem, enhance cyber-security and promote consumer protection as part of strategic plan for the commission.