On Monday, Prof. Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman/CEO, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), emphasized the crucial role of telecommunications in the diversification of the nation’s economy.
He made this remark in his presentation to Course 29 Participants at the National Defence College, Nigeria
Discussing the topic, “The Telecommunications Industry and National Development in Nigeria: The Roles of the NCC in Promoting Digital Economy”, he described the telecoms sector as the live-wire driving the Federal Government’s National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS).
He highlighted the crucial and dual role the sector performs in boosting the country’s GDP as well as enabling other sectors to thrive. Also, he revealed that the commission remitted over N362.34 billion as revenue in five (5) years to the Federal Government’s consolidated revenue account.
Talking about the challenges afflicting the industry, Prof. Umaru Danbatta identified a number of issues that currently bedeviling the sectors. Those problems range from fixed broadband Infrastructure gap, Right of Way (RoW), Electric Power Supply, Foreign Exchange, Multiple Taxations, and regulations to Vandalism of telecom infrastructure.
Having identified some of the worrisome issues facing the telecoms industry, he revealed the commission’s next plan of action. On the fixed broadband infrastructure gap, he explained that the commission will bolster the existing fiber-optic infrastructure across the country by 38,296 km through the infraCo project Initiative.
The NCC leader disclosed that the engagement with the Nigeria Governors Forum on the adoption of N145/m as RoW fees has yielded results in Kaduna, Katsina, Imo, Ekiti, and Plateau State.
He thereby implored other state governments to tap into the success of the digital economy drive by reducing RoW fees and other charges targeted at telecom service providers.
In addition, Prof. Umaru Danbatta’s discourse delved further into other deep-seated issues such as the relationship between broadband and Nigeria’s GDP, the contribution of telecom to national development, telecom investment trend in Nigeria, its contribution to the overall digital economy, the conceptualization of digital economy among others.
Expressing his admiration, Rear Admiral Mackson Kadiri, the Commandant of the National Defence College, appreciated the EVC, describing his paper as in-depth, incisive, and timely, given the pivotal role the telecom sector plays in promoting National Security and Development.
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