Oghenevwede Ohwovoriole in Abuja
The Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, has disclosed that Nigeria needs 120,00 kilometers of optic fibres for her to achieve efficiency in broadband penetration.
He disclosed this at his inaugural lecture titled, “Diversifying the Economy through the Telecommunications Sector.’
The lecture was the 23rd professorial lecture at the Bayero University Kano.
According to the EVC, “We are doing it in a small way courtesy of the universal service provision funds. We are like plugging the gaps at about the rate of 10% per year which means it will take us about 20 years to plug all the gaps.
“This way of doing it is not very effective and we need to fast track this measures that we have put in place. The only way to do it is to resort to technological solutions dedicated to rural areas that will plug the gaps minimum two to three years.
“We have such technology in mind as I talk to you. We have deployed one solution and itâ€™s very effective; it has plugged a number of gaps. We hope that we will be able to replicate this strategy like I said to ensure we plug the gaps in the next two to three years.”
Danbatta also expressed the hoped that citizens in the rural areas will be empower in the digital financial inclusion of the federal government.
The NCC boss continued: “We have licenses we will like to do, it about trillions; the infraco which you are very much aware is out. We divided the country into seven zones. We hope we will be able to license the remaining zones; so far four are remaining to be licensed.
“We hope we can license more fibre optics licenses. These licenses will provide metric fibre networks within cities as the name of the license denotes and we hope; that we will be able to also license more distance entities’
He added that through the three strategies which are within the mandate of the NCC, it could be able to double the amount of fibre in the country, saying it is still work in progress.
Stressing the need to diversify the economy and reducing over dependent on oil and gas, the NCC vice chairman said the spectrum is like crude oil and that it is what drives telecommunication.
He also stated that the FG is making a lot of money from the sale of spectrum licenses.
He added: “The main focus is diversifying the economy and reducing our over dependence on oil and gas. Spectrum is like crude oil, it is what drives telecommunications.
“It is a natural resource that the FG is making a lot of money from. If you build an efficient broadband network; every other thing will follow.”
The Vice Chancellor of BUK, Prof. Muhammad Yahuza Bello, thanked the NCC EVC for his lecture, saying, it was well timed and advised other professors who are yet to give their inaugural lecture on their field of study to get in touch with the inaugural lecture committee as the institution is willing and able to accommodate them within the shortest times, if it means having two inaugural lectures in a week.
“Inaugural lecture by Professors is a global tradition and normally the person who is giving the lecture gives the lecture in his or her area of specialisation”, the VC stated.