NNBP 2020-2025 Has Raised Telecom Industry Performance Bar – Danbatta

TECH DIGEST – The new National Broadband Plan (NNBP 2020-2025), has raised the performance bar for the whole telecom industry, says the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta.

The EVC, however said the agency will continue to proactively provide the necessary regulatory interventions that will facilitate the achievement of not only the 70% broadband penetration target but other associated targets as well which will truly transform Nigeria into a Digital Economy.

He make the remark on Thursday at a Virtual engagement with key stakeholders in the Nigerian Telecom and IT Sector on the new Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP) 2020-2025 organised by the Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria (ATCON).

Prof. Danbatta who was represented by Dr. Austine Nwaulume, NCC’s Director of Digital Economy, said:

“The NNBP 2020-2025 has raised the performance bar for the whole telecom industry, however being a document crafted by experts and executives, there is no reason why it cannot be achieved to put Nigeria in a firm pedestal of nations with broadband access. I wish to assure you that the Commission shall continue to proactively provide the necessary regulatory interventions which will facilitate the achievement of not only the 70% broadband penetration target but other associated targets as well which will truly transform our economy into a Digital Economy,” Prof Danbatta said.

“There has been a 3% decline in the broadband penetration from a peak of 45.93% in October 2020 to 42.93% in January 2021, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, (NCC),” Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta has said.

He noted that this was largely as a result of the suspension of registration of new SIM cards in December 2020 “to facilitate smooth linkage and synchronization of the SIM-NIN databases that will not only address some of the security challenges we are facing today but it will help us determine the truly unique numbers in the Country thus further guiding us towards achieving the 70% penetration target.”

Speaking on the subject of his presentation titled “Aggregating the Potential of the Sub-Sector to Meet the New Broadband Set Target Of 70%”, the NCC boss said: “The Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP) 2020-2025 is without a doubt an ambitious document with targets set that was developed jointly by critical stakeholders of the Telecoms and IT sectors of Nigeria. These stakeholders comprising of Government and private sector Executives, Experts, Managers, Associations and MDA’s represent the Who is Who of the Telecom & IT Sectors and they are people with firm believe and optimism as well as assurance that the set targets are practically achievable.”

He added that “Some of the targets of the NNBP 2020-2025 include, achieving 15Mbps & 25Mbps internet speed in rural and urban areas respectively by 2025, interconnection of 90% of all LGA’s by fibre, 70% Population penetration, 100% of Tertiary Institutions to be within 5Km of a fibre PoA, 60% of all telecom towers to be connected by fibre, connection of 1 major hospital or General hospital per LGA via fibre, reduction of average cost of data to N390/Gb or less and establishment of at least one (1) local assembly or manufacture of smart devices, reduction of RoW to N145/m etc.”

Speaking further, Prof. Danbatta noted that “From the foregoing, it is obvious that both Government, the industry and other stakeholders need to aggregate their potentials and expertise to achieve these targets,” he disclosed that “The Commission has already commenced some of this consolidation with the directive issued to Infraco licensees to commence immediate roll-out of optic fibre cables (OFC) as contained in their license agreements to all the LGA headquarters by giving them freehand to start from viable areas and gradually move to unviable areas while the expected counter-part funding from Government is being finalized.”

He added that “An equally important consolidation in the area of spectrum availability is the Commission’s finalization of the Spectrum Trading Guidelines as well as our collaboration with NigComSat that will make available 400MHz of prime spectrum for Next Generation Network deployment in the near future.”

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