The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Professor Umar Danbatta, has said a number policy decision taken by his agency led to the increase in broadband penetration to 42.02 per cent as July 2020.
Speaking during an interactive session with media executives and news editors, Danbatta said in 2015, broadband penetration in Nigeria was less than six per cent.
He said the 42.02 per cent in broadband penetration achievement was as a result of key policy initiatives to improve broadband penetration embarked upon by the Commission.
These, he said, “include increasing the number of licensed Infrastructure Companies (InfraCo) to six across the geo-political zones, spectrum refarming, spectrum re-planning, spectrum auctions, and administrative spectrum assignments, among others.”
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The Commission, he said, was presently in the process of finalizing the six Infraco’s counterpart funding agreement to ensure the full rollout of broadband infrastructure on an Open Access Model (OAM) and this will ensure there is Point of Access in each of the 774 local governments in the country.
Danbatta said, “The increase in broadband penetration has enabled the growth of the subscriber base which was 199,307,796 as at June 2020. Teledensity has risen to 104.41 while the percentage contribution to GDP in Q2 2020 was 14.2%.
“The NCC is working with the Nigeria Industrial Policy and Competiveness Advisory Council (Critical Infrastructure Sub Committee) under the auspices of the Vice President, Yemi Osibanjo GCON, on various initiatives towards improving Broadband Penetration.”
To underscore the importance of the sector to the economy, in June 2020, Danbatta said the Federal Government designated telecoms facilities as Critical National Infrastructure (CNI). The Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) and all security agencies, he said, have since been notified of Mr. President’s directive to that effect.