The Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has set up a committee to look into the structure that governs licensing of Infrastructure Companies (InfraCo) and recommend sustainable funding options for effective implementation of the proposed national projects.
The recession Nigeria went through in 2016 made the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) to make a decision for a need to introduce policies aimed at boosting economic diversification. In 2017, the FGN adopted the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan for 2017-2020 (ERGP) as a structure for Nigeria’s economic growth. The ERGP emphasises investment in infrastructure, especially in power, roads, rail, ports and broadband networks. Hence the need to strengthen the infrastructural system in the nation.
The constitution of the committee was as a result of the requirements of the new Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP 2020-2025) and the reports of relevant committees set up by the Federal Executive Council (FEC), which include the Inter-Ministerial Review Committee on Multiple Taxation on Telecommunications Operators over Right-of-Way (RoW) and the Technical Sub-Committee on Right-of-Way for Deepening Broadband Penetration in Nigeria.
These requirements and reports relate to the importance of reviewing the InfraCo framework to cater for the delays in take-off, change in exchange rate, supply chain and other challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Committee is ladened with the responsibility to look into the challenges facing the InfraCo project, the need for accelerated deployment of fibre infrastructure, means of mitigating the exorbitant RoW charges, among others.
The Commission is also working actively with the Broadband Implementation Steering Committee (BISC), as constituted by the Hon. Minister of Communications and Digital Economy based on the recommendations and requirements of the NNBP 2020-2025.