By Angela Nkwocha
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has said that the Federal Government is committed to the acceleration of broadband implementation for sustainable development of the telecommunications sector and advancement of the digital economy.
The Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta, gave the assurance at the first stakeholder consultation with telecommunication industry players on the implementation of the new national broadband in Abuja.
He averred that government is putting greater emphasis on continuous engagement of different stakeholders to secure their buy-in towards achieving the targets of the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP), 2020-2025.
The NCC boss who was represented by the Executive Commissioner, Technical Services and Chairman, Broadband Implementation Steering Committee (BISC), Engr. Ubale Maska, Danbatta said the Ministry and its agencies, as well as the industry must work together towards the attainment of the set goals.
He acknowledged that the 30 percent broadband targets set in the previous NNBP 2013-2018 were met and surpassed due to key players collective efforts, policy direction, regulation and financial commitment.
He added that there were, however, some targets that were not met in the previous plan because of various challenges that are presently being addressed.
“The NNBP 2020-2025 has, once again, identified initiatives to be implemented by different stakeholders in order to achieve the set objectives of the plan. The importance of broadband to our Gross Domestic Product (GDP), socio-economic development, and especially the digital economy, cannot be over-emphasized,” he said.
In his welcome address, the Vice Chairman of BISC, Dr. Usman Abdullahi, said the forum is aimed at availing the industry players and representatives of government a veritable platform to collaborate, and discuss ways to accelerate broadband implementation.
In his presentation, the project Director, BISC, Abubakar Maina, gave detailed information to stakeholders on previous and new targets, timelines, milestones, strategic pillars, initiatives in the pillars, as well as governance structure in the new broadband plan.
It would be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari unveiled the new broadband plan on March 19 2020, following the development of the plan by a committee, set up by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami on December 16, 2019.