FG Applauds NCC’s Regulatory Progress

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The Federal Government has commended the Nigerian Communications Commission’s leadership for the agency’s remarkable strides, which have earned Nigeria a spectacular international reputation and placed the telecom regulator at the forefront of the nation’s quest for forward-thinking national economic growth.

Dr. William Alo, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, stated this recently while receiving the NCC management team, led by Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, who briefed him on the status of the industry following his recent appointment to the Ministry.

“Things are looking up so far. The entire country, and beyond, recognizes the NCC’s strategic importance as a regulating institution of Nigeria’s telecommunications industry. And, of course, we are aware that, as the country strives to diversify its economy, the latter, between oil and communications, is gradually taking over in terms of revenue generation,” he said.

He said of a truth, the quality of service has improved tremendously over the past few years now and that the Commission deserves a pat on the back for what it has done in that direction. “Your efforts are generally felt in the economy. So when you talk of digitalization of the economy the NCC and the operators are the first port of call.”

He requested the Commission’s leadership to continue the good work and strive to mind and bridge the infrastructure gap that may create a gap between the served and underserved communities in the country.

Danbatta, who provided a detailed briefing about the achievements of the Commission and its efforts toward addressing all the challenges confronting the industry, intimated to him the key focus and targets of the Commission through the launch of the Strategic Vision (Implementation) Plan SVP 2021 – 2025, which took into consideration, the provisions of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy 2020-2030, and National Broadband Plan 2020-2025.

He said the SVP, which streamlines all policies for a robust sectoral lifting and relevance, has five focus areas which include: operational efficiency and regulatory excellence; facilitation of infrastructure provision for the digital economy; promotion of fair competition, inclusive growth and investment; improvement of quality of serve and quality of experience; and facilitation of strategic collaboration and partnership.

Prof Danbatta who led a team of two executive commissioners and directors of the Commission to the briefing listed successes recorded since 2015 in teledensity, broadband penetration, and the significant contribution of the industry to the gross domestic product (GDP) that grew from 8.5 per cent in the 4th quarter of 2015 to 12.61 in the 4th quarter of 2021, as the sector also attracted over $2 billion in foreign direct investment over the period.

The NCC chief executive listed some other key achievements of the Commission under him including the recent successful auction of 3.5GHz spectrum for 5G services, licensing of 7 fibre optics infrastructure providers, and adding up to 38,296 kilometres of fibre optic in the country.

Danbatta noted that access gap clusters in the country have been reduced from 217 to 114 to enable 15 million Nigerians have access to telecommunications services, and increase of fibre optics deployments from 47,000 kilometres to 54,725 kilometres.

The EVC revealed that the 3G and 4G Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) in the country have increased from less than 30,000 in 2015 to 53,460 while 7 VSAT gateway earth stations have been licensed to boost broadband penetration in the country.

He informed the new Permanent Secretary that the Commission under him has also remitted N463 billion to the Consolidated Revenue Fund from 2015 to April 2022, while landing permits have been issued to 53 Geo Satellite Orbits space stations and 923 non-GSO space stations.


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Gbenga Elebiyo

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