By Martin Ekpeke
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has assured there are machineries in place to resolve the persistent Right of Way challenges, which many industry watchers believe has slowed down the uptake of ubiquitous broadband penetration in the country.
The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta gave assurance when the new Executive Council of the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) led by its President, Olusola Teniola, paid a working visit to the Commission’s Headquarter in Abuja last week.
He disclosed that the State Governors, who many people believe are part of the challenges of Right of Way, have in a meeting with Nigerian Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, appeared to have keyed into broadband penetration initiative.
Hence, there are plans to lay 18,000 kilometers of fiber cables across the country, with the ultimate aim of meeting and surpassing the 30 per cent broadband penetration target by the end of this year.
According to reports, the Presidency is directly championing the matter and have selected MainOne; IHS Nigeria Limited; Broadbased Limited and Phase3 Communications to lay the 18, 000 fiber cable.
An excited Danbatta, who applauded the initiative, stated that telecom infrastructure is critical to the development of any country, and should be allowed to be deployed unhindered in any state of the federation.
He added that with the proliferation of telecom infrastructure, which will ultimately lead to broadband access, Nigeria will experience economic emancipation, lead to youth empowerment and employment, and most importantly open up the country for investment in almost every sector.