September 24, 2020

By Daniel Kolawole /TnTv Network

Since the Executive Vice Chairman Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta took over the helms of affair at the Telecom Regulatory Body. Broadband Penetration has witnessed a quantum leap

 NCC Boss also reeled out NCC’s regulatory priority areas for the next five years to include facilitating attainment of 70 per cent broadband penetration by 2025; consumer protection and empowerment; and consolidation  of spectrum trading to ensure maximum and efficient usage of available frequencies.

Speaking on his achievements in the last five years, Danbatta said that the diligent implementation of NCC’s Strategic Vision Plan (SVP), which focused on the 8-Point Agenda, has helped to lift broadband penetration from 6 per cent in 2015 to 42.02 per cent by July, 2020. The sector’s contribution to GDP increased from 8.50 per cent in 2015 to 14.30 per cent in the second quarter of 2020. In financial terms, Danbatta said the Q2 2020 contribution translates to N2.272 trillion.

He noted that when he came on board five years ago, 217 access gap clusters were identified in the country affecting 40 million Nigerians without access to telecoms services. “But today, we have reduced the access gap clusters to 114 with 15 million of the 40 million digitally excluded Nigerians now having access to telecoms services. We are committed to addressing the remaining access gap clusters, which are areas outside the frontier of economic viability to ensure the remaining 25 million Nigerians have access,” he said.

Similarly, Danbatta said on assumption of office, there were 47,000 kilometers of fibre optic cables laid across the country. However, five years after, as a result of regulatory focus, there are now 54,725 kilometers of fibre cables laid across the country through the efforts of some private companies in the sector.

Such initiatives, According to Danbatta, also include the constitution of a multi-sectoral committee on e-fraud, revision of the consumer complaints and service level agreements (CC/SLA) for prompt resolution of consumer complaints by the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs).

Danbatta also talked about the various consumer-centric initiatives his leadership has put in place to strengthen consumer protection and empowerment in the last five years. These include the declaration of 2017 as the Year of the Consumer, the introduction of the Do-Not-Disturb (DND) 2442 Short Code, introduction of the NCC toll-free Number 622; the stringent provisions of Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) Registration Guidelines, issuance of direction on forceful subscription and data roll-over, among others.

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