The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Prof. Umar Danbatta, has said that the Commission is providing industry leadership to push broadband penetration in the country to well above 50% at the end of this year.
Danbatta stated this at the ongoing ‘Talk-To-The Regulator’ (TTTR) Forum for the Year, 2023, holding in the South-South, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State. As of March 2023, NCC’s data shows that broadband penetration in the country stood at 48.2%.
According to him, the Commission is also working assiduously to ensure that Nigeria achieves 90% broadband penetration by the year 2025 in line with the Nigeria National Broadband Policy (NNBP2020-2025).
Highlighting some of the intervention responses to drive growth in the telecom industry, Danbatta noted that currently, over I50 million Nigerians have access to the internet, while over 80 million can access high-speed internet.
He added that the telecom industry has witnessed milestones in more ways than one, including the rapid growth in technology, which is redefining service delivery, and creating wide and high expectations from all stakeholders. According to him, to keep up to date with developments in the industry, the Commission has equally taken measures to improve regulations to accommodate rapid and continuous development.
The EVC listed some of the interventions and responses of the Commission to include but not limited to: Facilitating the Roll-Out of 5G Service provision and; Introduction of Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) Licence to bridge the gap between unserved and underserved areas. He said the Commission is also currently reviewing the scope and structure of its existing licenses to make them more robust and to accommodate some of the identified new industry trends.
The TTTR Forum
Danbatta described the TTTR Forum as a common platform for non-discriminatory interaction on a one-on-one basis, between the Licensees and the Regulator on several industry issues, pertinent to the Licensees and of national interest.
Also speaking at the Forum, the Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management at NCC, Mr. Adeleke Adewolu said:
- “This forum is an opportunity for Critical Stakeholders to share their respective challenges and experiences and also suggest viable solutions to the Regulator. Constant engagement with the Regulator is the path towards regulatory efficiency as it preserves the integrity of the regulatory instruments issued by the Regulator whilst securing the buy-in of all Stakeholders.”
The two-day Forum which opened today, Thursday, June 1, 2023, is expected to witness high-level discussions between all players in the telecom industry and the regulator, NCC.