The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigeria Communications Commission, NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta has assured that the agency is working in line with the Nigeria National Broadband Plan (NNBP 2020 – 2025) to provide industry leadership and facilitate the achievement of 90 per cent Broadband penetration by year 2025.
Danbatta made this remark in a keynote address at the opening of a two-day Talk-To-The-Regulator Forum for the year 2023, which started on Thursday in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.
The EVC said that currently, over 50 million Nigerians have access to the internet, while over 80 million can access high speed internet.
The NCC Boss also disclosed that the agency will achieve a Broadband penetration well above 50 per cent at the end of 2023.
He said, “The Nigeria Communications Commission, in keeping with its mandate, creates opportunities to interact with its licensees on industry issues and new trends via stakeholder fora, with a view to gathering relevant information that would further advance the development of the industry, while improving regulations and service delivery to telecom consumers”.
He said the TTTR Forum in Yenagoa was originally scheduled to hold in 2022 but was postponed due to the dreadful flood disaster that hit Bayelsa and some other states in the year.
He seized the opportunity to commiserate with the people of Bayelsa State and the entire nation on the worst flood disaster recorded in the history of the nation.
“We pray that such natural disasters shall not plague our dear nation again, and equally believe that the state has made adequate preparations for any future occurrences”, Danbatta stated.
Further, he said, “You will agree with me 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.
“To keep up to date with developments in the industry, the Commission has equally taken measures to improve regulations to accommodate the rapid and continuous development.”
He revealed some of the interventions and responses of the Commission to include but not limited to: facilitating the Roll-Out of 5G Service provision; introduction of Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) Licence to bridge the gap between unserved and underserved areas.
Danbatta said the Commission is currently reviewing the scope and structure of its existing licences to make them more robust and to accommodate some of the identified new industry trends.
The ‘Talk-To-The Regulator` Forum is 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.