The Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, has shared experiences on some of the regulatory models, approaches and best practices being implemented by the Commission in promoting a stable telecoms sector and accelerating digital inclusion in Nigeria.
Danbatta shared these experiences while receiving a delegation from Autoridade Reguladora Nacional (ARN), the Telecom National Regulatory Authority of Guinea-Bissau who were on a on a week-long benchmarking visit to the Commission in Abuja on Wednesday, May 26, 2021.
Revealing some of the models which have helped the Commission thus far, Danbatta stated that: “NCC has through the implementation of various policy initiatives, particularly the National Broadband Plan (2020-2025) improved access to broadband for over 80 million Nigerians and targets the provision of Point of Broadband Access (PoA) in all the 774 local government areas (LGAs) of the country within the plan period.”
Through NCC’s various regulatory efforts, he said “Nigeria’s telecoms sector had reached an all-time-high, basic internet subscription of 154 million; over 87 million broadband subscriptions, representing 45.93 per cent broadband penetration; over 207 million voice subscriptions with teledensity standing at 108.94 per cent as at October, 2020.”
To further drive digital inclusion, Danbatta said the Commission carried out a study to determine areas where there are access gaps in the country. “We identified 217 clusters of access gaps and today, we have ensured more Nigerians are digitally-included by reducing the number of access gaps to 114 currently, while more measures are being taken to further reduce the access gaps, thereby deepening digital inclusion.”
Danbatta further stated that “challenges remain in the process, but observed that NCC is committed to addressing such challenges as Right of Way (RoW) issue, multiple taxation, vandalism of telecom infrastructure, among others, confronting the licensees as they roll out services.”