NCC to approach FEC for N65b InfraCo subsidy disbursement
•Stakeholders seek end to woes for digital inclusion
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), is to seek the Federal Executive Council’s support in granting and disbursement of the planned N65 billion subsidy for Infrastructure Companies (InfraCos) in the country.
The Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, disclosed this in Lagos, at the weekend.
InfraCos are licensed by NCC to provide Layer 1 (dark fibre) services on commercial basis; focus on the deployment of metropolitan fibre, and provide transmission services, available at access points (fibre-to-the-Node or neighbourhood – FTTN) to access seekers.
Already, the Commission plans to license seven operators – one provider for each of the six geo-political zones, and one specifically for Lagos. Six operators have already been licensed. The NCC Director of Public Affairs, Dr. Henry Nkemadu, had told The Guardian that the remaining InfraCo for the North Central, whose process had started, would be unveiled anytime soon.
Those licensed already include MainOne for Lagos; Zinox Technology Limited for South East, and Brinks Integrated Solutions Limited for North East. Others are O’dua Infraco Resources Limited for South-West, Fleek Networks Limited for North-West, and Raeana Nigeria Limited for South-South zone.
Danbatta, who spoke through NCC Director, Technical Standards and Network Integrity, Bako Wakil, said the Commission was “at the verge of sending the N65 billion request for supporting the already six infrastructure companies (InfraCos) licensed to roll out broadband infrastructure across the country, to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for approval.”
Danbatta, at the MoDiTECH 2019 forum, themed, “Digital Services to Boost Nigeria’s Economy,” said to fully embrace the possibilities that digital technology has to offer both the private and public organisations have to be willing to use agile approaches in which requirements and solutions evolve over time.
Through adaptive planning, evolutionary development, early delivery, and continuous improvement agile development methods encourage rapid and flexible response to change.
Danbatta, said that through its regulatory excellence, the Commission is at the forefront of unleashing the digital economy that will spur industrial growth, job creation, and good return on investment (RoI) for investors.
According to him, the Internet is at the leading edge of digital revolution, which informed NCC’s support for operators to deploy more infrastructures.
“Today, Nigeria has started a test-run of 5G, the latest technology for delivering broadband services and such other services as Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI). The trial will last for three months. Nigeria hopes to join other countries which are in a rush to deploy the 5G technology because of its immense promise for digital communication,” he said.
Meanwhile, Danbatta expressed the Commission’s support for the renaming of the Ministry of Communications to ‘Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy’.
“The renaming of the Ministry shows a demonstration of the future of telecoms in all government sectors and the economy; the EVC, therefore, commends the Minister, Dr. Isa Pantami and members of the Federal Executive Council for the foresight and dramatic change.
“This will spur a new debate and redirect the Ministry and other agencies under it as well as the private sector to a new awakening that digital economy brings,” he added.
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