FG Commends NCC’s Regulatory Strides

Emma Okonji

The federal government has commended the leadership of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for the remarkable strides of the agency that has earned remarkable international reputation for Nigeria and placed the telecoms regulator in the forefront of the country’s quest for national economic growth.

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

He said: “So far, the country and beyond is fully aware of the strategic importance of the NCC as a regulating institution of the telecommunications industry in Nigeria. And of course, we are aware today that between oil and communications, the latter is gradually taking over in the provision of revenue for the country as Nigeria strives to diversify its economy.”

Alo said of a truth, the quality of service has improved tremendously over the past few years, 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 the digitalisation of the economy, the NCC and the operators are the first port of call,” he said.

He requested the leadership of the commission to continue the good work and also strive to bridge the infrastructural gap that may create a gap between the served and underserved communities in the country.

During the visit, Danbatta provided a detailed briefing about the achievements commission and its efforts to addressing all the challenges confronting the industry.

He intimated him with the key focus and targets of the commission through the launched 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.

The EVC said the SVP 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 service and quality of experience, and facilitation of strategic collaboration.

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 significant contribution of the industry to the GDP that grew from 8.5 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2015 to 12.61 in the fourth 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 to include the recent successful auction of 3.5GHz spectrum for 5G; licencing of 7 fibre optics infrastructure providers, and adding up to 38, 296 kilometres of fibre optic in the country.

He noted that access gap clusters in the country has 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.

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