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NCC committed to tackling telecom infrastructure deficit – Danbatta

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NIGERIAN Communications Commission (NCC) says it’s irrevocably committed to the implementation of various regulatory initiatives and programmes, in collaboration with all stakeholders in the telecom ecosystem, towards bridging identified gaps and shortages in critical telecom infrastructure in the country.

  The Executive Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, stated this during at the NCC head office in Abuja.

  The EVC, according to Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, Director, Public Affairs at NCC, emphasized the centrality of infrastructure to telecom service provisioning by asserting that availability of broadband insufficiency was non-negotiable and irreducible in the nation’s strategy towards delivering pervasive telecom services.

  “The EVC said he was gratified that the new plan particularly took into consideration, the identified gaps and challenges in its precursor, the National Broadband Plan 2013-2018, which implementation the NCC was equally central to.”

  Danbatta also put the efforts of government in context towards addressing infrastructure gaps, and commended both state and non-state actors for the vision, diligence and continued dedication to the implementation of the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP) 2020-2025, an initiative of the Federal Government, being driven by NCC and conceived to address infrastructure gaps in the telecom and ICT sector.

  According to Danbatta, “one of the identified gaps to robust connectivity was the fact that inadequate infrastructure remained a bane to achieving desired broadband penetration to boost access to services that will enhance economic growth and development”.

  He emphasised that the commission recognises the importance of infrastructure expansion and this explains its unequivocal commitment and desire to see the licensed Infrastructure Companies (InfraCos) work speedily and with precision to cascade fibre to the hinterland, in order to enhance robust telecom service provision.

  He said the InfraCo licensees, expectedly, also prioritise stipulated licensing conditions to ensure expected milestones set by the commission are achieved.

  The EVC stated that commission’s target for licensing the infraCos was to ensure the deployment of fibre infrastructure needed for pervasive broadband penetration across the 774 local government areas.

  This, he said, will ensure access to telecoms services in the hinterlands of the country, and by so doing, address the challenges of access confronting the unserved and underserved areas of the country.

  Danbatta also placed on record the commission’s desire for inclusiveness as seminal to erecting sustainable telecom architecture.

  This, according to him, is critical in ensuring the achievement of federal government’s target on digital access and financial inclusion.

  “One visible area of beneficial financial service riding on telecom infrastructure is the provision of Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) for financial transactions across various financial institutions’ platforms,” he said.

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