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FG licenses 6 slots to broaden broadband penetration

The Federal Government has licensed six slots of the 2.6 MHz spectrum for the deployment of 4G-LTE services in its efforts to broaden broadband penetration in Nigeria.
Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu

Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu

The Federal Government has licensed six slots of the 2.6 MHz spectrum for the deployment of 4G-LTE services in its efforts to broaden broadband penetration in Nigeria.

The Minister of Communications, Mr Adebayo Shittu announced this on Friday in Kaduna at the 4th National Council of Communication Technology.

Shittu said that broad penetration in Nigeria had reached 20.95 per cent, while the percentage of internet penetration had reached a milestone 47.44 per cent, which makes Nigeria, second in ranking in the Africa.

Shittu disclosed that the process for the licensing of broadband services on the 5.4 GHz spectrum bank and allocation of 70/80 GHz band (E-Band) had commenced.

The theme of the Council Meeting was “ICT as a Focal Point for Economic Diversification.’’

The minister said that the ICT sector would be re-engineered to expand the frontiers of its contribution towards facilitating Nigeria’s early exit from recessionary economies.

According to him, ICT innovation and entrepreneurship and the broadening of investment opportunities is one of the key avenues for increasing generated revenue in any economy, Nigeria not an exception.

Shittu said that ICT had become a fulcrum of the nation’s economy.

He, however, said that the challenge now was how to harness and leverage opportunities thrown up by new economy powered by ICT to address issues of revenue, investments and cost savings.

According to him, many developed countries around the world do not rely on the export of any raw materials, but on the development and export of ICT.

The minister listed Singapore, India and Thailand as examples of developing countries that had leveraged on ICT to make a difference in their economies.

Shittu informed the council that he had facilitated the draft of a Sector Strategic Plan for 2016-2020, to chart a short term framework for the sector.

He assured that his ministry would ensure that the ICT in Government Initiatives was sustained.

“Through Galaxy Backbone, government has provided internet access to about 400 MDAs, over 11,000 nodes of wireless LAN to all MDAs at the Federal Secretariat.

“Over 40,000 email addresses for government officials under the domains. This has ensured that government data is hosted locally on a secured website with databack-up to MDAs and 200 servers hosting MDAs,’’ he said.

In the area of spectrum management, he said the Ministry of Communications had issued and renewed a total of 668 licenses from November 2015 to September 2016, and generating about N500 million as government revenue.

Shittu commended council members for attending the 4th Council Meeting, which is the first under his leadership as minister of communications.

Shittu said that the National Council on Communications like any other governmental sector council exists to facilitate inter-governmental consultations on ICT mattes and to avoid unnecessary disparities in developmental structures.

“This NCCT platform enables me, as the minister coordinating ICT development in the country to interact with the Commissioners in charge of ICT matters at the state level towards brainstorming on the optimal approach to ensure effective implementation of ICT policies across the country,’’ he said

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