The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday with met with various stakeholders drawn from the country’s teleom industry in a bid to secure their buy-in towards achieving the targets of the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP), 2020-2025.
Speaking at the meeting, held at the Communications & Digital Economy Complex in Abuja, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission Prof. Umar Danbatta called on the Ministry of Communications & Digital Economy and its agencies, as well as the industry stakeholders to work together towards the attainment of the set goals of attaining 70 percent broadband target in the next five years.
“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,” said Danbatta, who was represented by NCC’s Executive Commissioner, Technical Services and Chairman, Broadband Implementation Steering Committee (BISC), Engr. Ubale Maska.
At the event, which is the second of the multi-stakeholder consultation process by the BISC, Danbatta noted that the 30 percent broadband targets set in the previous NNBP 2013-2018 were met and surpassed due to “our collective efforts, policy direction, regulation and financial commitment by industry players.
He said there were, however, some targets that were not met in the previous plan because of various challenges that are presently being addressed.
In his welcome address, the Vice Chairman of BISC, Dr. Usman Abdullahi, said the forum was to avail the industry players and representatives of government a veritable platform to collaborate, and discuss ways to accelerate broadband implementation for sustainable development of the telecommunications sector and advancement of the digital economy.
Project Director, BISC, Abubakar Maina, made a presentation providing 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.
The forum was well attended by industry operators, especially the Infrastructure Companies (InfraCos) both physically and virtually, who gave useful inputs for steering the course of implementation of the new broadband plan to success.
President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier this year unveiled the new broadband plan, following the development of the plan by a committee, set up by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami on December 16, 2019.
As a follow-up, on July 9, 2020, the Minister, inaugurated the BISC, which is primarily saddled with the responsibility of ensuring effective monitoring of the implementation of the new broadband plan.