SVP 2021-2025, catalyst for 5G, broadband penetration, telecom infrastructure —Danbatta

Photo shows r-l: Former IGP Solomon Arase; NCC’s Nnenna Ukoha; INEC Chairmen, Prof Mahmood Yakubu; GOCOP President Maureen Chigbo; CAPPS Dr. Umar Ardo; Ford Foundation’s Dr. Chichi Aniagholu-Okoye and NGE’s Isa Mustapha

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says its Strategic Vision Implementation Plan (SVP) 2021 - 2025 unveiled on September 7, 2021 was meant to speed up Broadband penetration, 5G deployment and rapid development of telecom infrastructure in Nigeria.

Professor Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman/CEO, Nigerian Communications Commissions (NCC) said at the 2022 Annual Conference of the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP) in Lagos that the SVP 2021-2025 Plan has five major items namely:

· Organisational Renewal for Operational Efficiency and Regulatory Excellence;

· Facilitating the Provision of Infrastructure for a Digital Economy which fosters National Development;

· Promoting Fair Competition, Inclusive Growth, Increased investment and Innovative Services;

· Improve Quality of Service (QoS) for Enhanced Consumer Quality of Experience (QoE); and

· Facilitating Strategic Collaboration and Partnership.

Danbatta, who was represented by Mrs. Nnenna Ukoha, Deputy Director at the NCC, emphasised that the Plan will lead to sustained implementation of the Nigerian National Broadband Plan 2020 – 2025, increase Broadband penetration which was 44.65 percent as at August 2022 and support the deployment of optic fibre cable using the infrastructure company (InfraCo) Project under the Open Access Model.

“The Commission has instructed all licensees to commence immediate rollout without recourse to counterpart funding since the licence is independent of the counterpart funding agreement.”

On 5G deployment, the NCC EVC/CEO said the Commission already licensed two operators (MTN and MAFAB) for the two available slots (3.5-3.6 GHz & 3.7-3.8 GHz bands) respectively, generating a total revenue of $563.1 million in the process.

Danbatta stated that NCC is working towards the establishment of the Nigeria Office for Developing the Indigenous Telecom Sector (NODITS), implementing government directives on local production of SIM cards in Nigeria and review of other regulations of the ICT and digital economy sector.

A key element in the NCC Strategic Plan, according to Danbatta, is active collaboration with relevant stakeholders and partners for sustainable growth of the telecom sector in Nigeria.

Danbatta cited the participation of the Commission at the GOCOP Annual Conference 2022 as an example of such partnership, in addition to recent signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) amongst others.

“Last week, the Commission inaugurated a joint committee with the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) to address issues about the operation of mobile lotteries to protect the interest of telecom consumers,” Danbatta said.

Going forward, the Commission said it has equally embarked on other initiatives such as provision of funding for telecoms R&D to universities and Academia in the last five years, endowment of two professorial chairs in two Nigerian universities, disbursed over N500 million to universities for telecom research in addition to annual grants in telecommunications fields, developed a database of all tech hubs in Nigeria across the six geopolitical regions and provided sponsorship for young local innovators to ITU Telecom Worlds in Thailand & South Korea.
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