Emma Okonji

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), will friday in Lagos, join industry stakeholders to discuss broadband challenges as well as the milestone reached in the planned 30 per cent broadband penetration target by the end of 2018.

The event, which is being organised by the Nigeria Information Technology Reporters’ Association (NITRA), is scheduled to hold in Ikeja, Lagos.

NITRA, under the supervision of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), is an umbrella body for journalists reporting information and communications technology in Nigeria. NITRA, in collaboration with NCC, Spectranet Internet Service Provider and the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), promises to use the fourth quarter forum to address the challenges of broadband, especially with last mile connectivity.

The Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta is the keynote speaker at the event that is expected to draw the largest gathering of ICT industry players under one roof.

Themed: “Achieving Last Mile Connectivity Through Affordable Broadband,” the forum will not only highlight the opportunities and challenges of deploying affordable broadband in Nigeria but will also look at the strategies being adopted by the NCC to achieve this.

Experts argue that in order to address Nigeria’s last mile connectivity, it’s important that the government creates incentives that would encourage telcos to invest in connectivity in rural areas and other less profitable regions.
Achieving last mile connectivity in Nigeria, therefore, requires a concerted effort among government, civil society organisations, policy makers, mobile operators, service providers, and the academia, among others. It also requires a combination of solutions ranging from policies to technologies, transparency to regulations, among others.

NCC had in 2016, rolled out its 8-point agenda aimed at promoting broadband access and penetration. Through the agenda, NCC hopes to promote deployment of universally available, fast and reliable network infrastructure that will stimulate seamless broadband penetration to drive technology innovation and overall productivity of Nigeria’s economy.

In the last two years, NITRA has through the quarterly forum, engaged ICT stakeholders to brainstorm on various topical issues affecting the ICT industry in Nigeria.