In a bid to explore opportunities for collaboration and partnership for infrastructure deployment that will ultimately strengthen connectivity, enhance businesses and bolster citizens’ embrace of digital culture, the top Management staff of social media giant, Facebook yesterday paid what is considered a courtesy visit to the corporate headquarters of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
At the meeting, Facebook underscored the centrality of infrastructure to the flourishing of digital culture, stressing that Nigeria, as the most populous country in Africa, needs further telecom infrastructure expansion.
The Facebook delegation, which was led by Ibrahima Ba, Network Investment Lead at Facebook Office in the United States, stated that robust infrastructure is the bedrock of the massive connectivity that signposts Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram because without the adequate and right type of infrastructure there can be no robust connectivity.
In supporting robust infrastructure in Nigeria, Ba disclosed that Facebook had successfully undertaken two connectivity projects in Edo and Ogun involving a total of 800 kilometers of fibre connecting institutions and operators towers.
“Considering the connectivity gap that still exists in Nigeria, there is a great need for more and even further expansion of infrastructure because the increased penetration of services will require the further deployment of infrastructure, which will encourage investment and promote digital culture,” he noted.
According to him, Nigeria is very important to Facebook for many reasons but particularly because it is Africa’s most populous country. Hence the desires and dedication by Facebook to explore further opportunities for partnerships in infrastructure expansion.
He emphasised that Facebook looks forward to seeing opportunities for partnerships manifest because such collaboration will result in kilometres of infrastructure expansion in fibre connectivity. He advised the Commission to facilitate further liberalisation of partnership and collaboration processes with stakeholders.
Responding, Edoyemi Ogoh, Deputy Director Technical Standards and Network Integrity at NCC, who led the team that received the Facebook delegation on behalf of the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive (EVC/CE) of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, stated that NCC is open to partnerships that encourage infrastructure deployment with the right licensees.
While thanking Facebook for the model it has adopted in participating in the Nigerian market by partnering with licensees of the Commission, Ogoh assured the Facebook team of NCC’s irrevocable commitment to infrastructure expansion to enhance better connectivity.
He affirmed that NCC is aware of how central infrastructure is to the expansion of telecom services and said that the realisation explained NCC’s adoption of the Open Access Model (OAM) and the licensing of infrastructure companies (Infracos) to cascade fibre to the hinterland of Nigeria.