NCC: 50% of Nigeria’s geographical areas lack internet coverage

Despite the 140 million active internet subscriptions in Nigeria as of May this year, 49.7 per cent of the country’s geographical areas still lack internet coverage. The Commission disclosed this during a National Assembly hearing on the suitability of the use of electronic devices for the transmission of election results in the country as part of the discussions on the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.

The Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, NCC, Engr. Ubale Maska, who spoke on behalf of the Commission while appearing before the House of Representatives hinted that the electronic transmission of election results might not be possible in the country due to the low internet coverage. o

The House had, on Thursday, July 15, 2021, invited the NCC to brief it on the nation’s network coverage before continuing debate on the contentious provision of electronic transmission of results during elections.

The Commission was represented before the House members by Maska and the Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, Mr. Adeleke Adewolu.

Maska, who spoke on behalf of the team, told the House that less than 50 per cent of the country currently enjoys 3G Internet coverage for which electronic transmission of results could rely on.

He said as of 2018, when the Commission carried out a survey, only 109,000 polling units of the country’s 119,000 polling units were covered. He noted that the surveyed polling unit areas were covered mostly by the 3G and 2G networks, which represents about 50.3% of the entire country.

He said about 49.7 per cent of the national spread did not have Internet coverage, which will be required for real-time electronic transmission of electoral results.

Asked if 2G technology could be used for electronic transmission of results, Engr. Maska said though he wished the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was around to answer. He, however, said only 3G could transmit results effectively.

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