The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC)and the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON)have come together to deliberate on the realization of the Nigeria National Broadband Plan 2020 to 2025. Hereby seeking government’s full support for the actualisation of the NNBP 2020/25,
The event took place at the maiden edition of the ‘Virtual Structured Engagement with Key Stakeholders in the Nigerian Telecoms & IT Sector on the NNBP 2020/2025’, organised by ATCON brought together captains of industries, stakeholders in the telecoms sector including the former Executive Chairman of the N.C.C, Dr Ernest Ndukwe,now Chairman of MTN Nigeria.
The full report of the NNBP which was prepared in understandable form for the forum by the Chairman of the Broadband Implementation Steering Committee, Engr. Usman Maska showed a set target of 25 MBPS Internet speed for urban area and 10 Mbps for rural area.
The plan, according to Maska also include a target 90% 4G mobile coverage by 2025 and 70 % penetration for eligible individuals by 2025 as well as 50 % by 2023, which must include the physically challenged persons.
Engr. Usman Aliyu Mahmud of the New Media and Information Security Department of the NCC who presented the plan on his behalf, stated that the timeline for the plan covers 10 major areas saying that the Minsister, Dr. Isa Pantami is the head of the Governance Structure for the NNBP.
The Minister in his remark disclosed that progress has been made in realizing some of the targets set in the new Broadband Plan.
“Most of the challenges are being addressed. However, there is a critical need for deliberate efforts by all stakeholders towards ensuring that the targets set in this plan are realized”, he said.
He however called for more strategic engagements with key stakeholders bearing in mind the impact of continuous engagement with Stakeholders,
In a presentation, ‘Aggregating the Potential of the Sub-Sector to Meet the New Broadbamd Set Target of 70%’, the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta said the NNBP 2020-2025 has raised the performance bar for the whole telecom industry. He noted that being a document crafted by experts and executives, there is no reason why it cannot be achieved to put Nigeria in a firm pedestal of nations with broadband access.
While lauding previous collaboration with State Governments, on the adoption of the N145/m or outright waiver Right-of-Way (RoW) by six (6) State Governments, he said that more needs to be done by the States and Local Governments to ensure full adoption and cascading of the decision for implementation. He said that the Commission will not relent in its effort towards addressing the issue of RoW.
Proffessor Umar Danbatta EVC NCC,represented by the Director of Digital Economy at the NCC, Dr. Augustine Nwaulume,assured stakeholders of proactive regulatory interventions which will facilitate the achievement of not only the 70% broadband penetration target and “other associated targets as well which will truly transform our economy into a Digital Economy.”
The Chairman of MTN Nigeria, Engr. Ernest Ndukwe listed some key issues which government must address to meet the targets of the NNBP 2020/25.
He said that the ROW for metro and long distance fibre rollout must be taken as priority noting that it is the duty of the state and local government to address that.
While calling for a free ROW from the local governments, he said that telecoms infrastructure deployment across Nigeria still remains a challenge adding that the Nigerian capital city, Abuja was for years without coverage due to lack of permit for towers.
He also said that government needs to give free ROW for fibre laying to all educational institutions in the country and urged government to ensure a timely release of broadband.
Earlier in his welcome address, the President of ATCON, Engr. Ikechukwu Nnamani, noted that the event was organised to ascertain the status of the implementation of the NNBP 2020-2025. Emphasizing on other objectives namely;
A .Identify any potential bottlenecks that may negatively impact on the smooth implementation of the plan and proffer necessary solutions to mitigate against them.
- Leverage on the wide spectrum of ATCON sub-groups for effective participation in the new Nigerian National Broadband Plan 2020-2025 by giving them the opportunity to access the plan and suggest various ways to speed up the realization of the established target by the government.
- To serve as a veritable platform to align the objectives and expectations of the private and public sectors.
According to him, the development of a solid digital Economy rests on the foundation of a well distributed broadband infrastructure and involves the convergence of all technology types and classes of service.
“To this end we have brought together key industry leaders cutting across the nine sub-group of ATCON’s membership to discuss and strategize with the leadership of the public sector on the best ways to achieve an accelerated implementation of the Nigerian National Broadband Plan”, he said.