The Executive Commissioner, Technical Services at the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Engr. Ubale Maska has been designated as the Chairman of the newly-inaugurated Broadband Implementation Steering Committee (BISC).
The Committee, which was inaugurated by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami will ensure effective monitoring and steering of the overall implementation of the National Broadband Plan (NBP) 2020-2025.
Speaking during the inauguration in Abuja, the Minister noted that the central responsibility and mandate of the Committee, which will have its secretariat in NCC, is to ensure “effective monitoring for implementation of the National Broadband Plan (NBP), 2020- 2025.”
“The journey started with the approval for the transformation of the ministry and its parastatals in October 2019 from mere ICT institutions to digital economy institutions by the President. This was followed by the unveiling of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) in November 2019 and the development of a new NBP 2020-2025, which was launched by the President on March 19, 2020,” he said.
One of the cardinal targets of the new National Broadband Plan is to cover 90 percent of the Nigerian population with broadband access and 70 percent broadband penetration by 2025. The plan also to achieve a broadband speed of 25 megabits per second (mbps) in urban areas and 10 mbps in rural areas by the end of the implementation of the new Broadband plan.
Meanwhile, the Minister has disclosed that the implementation of the new NBP had started fully and is resulting in the increase in broadband penetration currently at 40.14 percent, up from 35.10 percent in August 2019. He said the ICT industry contributed 14.07 percent to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the first quarter of 2020. He noted that increased broadband penetration will help Nigeria to achieve increased GDP growth.
Earlier in his remarks, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta commended the Minister for the inauguration of the committee and promised the support of the Commission towards realisation of the mandate of the Committee.
The Chairman of the Committee, Engr. Maska, also assured the Minister of the Committee members’ readiness to deliver on the assignment.
The Committee draws membership from the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and agencies under its supervision, including the Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), World Bank, Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA), among others.