The 70 percent national broadband target set by the Nigerian government before 2025 may be achieved considering the recent data released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) that the country’s broadband penetration moved from 40.9 percent in February 2022 to 44.5 percent in July 2022.
The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, who disclosed this at the beginning of a three-day public inquiry on five telecom regulations and guidelines in Abuja, said the increase in broadband penetration is a good omen for Nigeria’s broadband and digital economy pursuit.
He believes that such growth will help to accommodate emerging technologies and advancements in the sector, which demand that the Commission matches these developments with appropriate regulations and guidelines.
“Nigeria’s broadband usage has continued on the rise, moving up from 40.9 percent in February 2022 to 44.5 percent in July 2022, a figure considered hopeful for achieving the national broadband target of 70 percent in 2025,” he announced.
He added that with the technological advancements anticipated in the coming years, it is expected that there will be a proliferation of devices in the industry. It is, therefore, essential for the Commission to ensure that the right regulatory frameworks can accommodate such eventualities.
Meanwhile, the NCC has said it undertook a public inquiry that covered five areas of existing regulations aimed at achieving operational efficiency and operational excellence.
According to the Commission, the regulatory instruments under review at the public inquiry include Type Approval Regulations, Guidelines on Short Code Operation in Nigeria, Guidelines on Technical Specifications for the Deployment of Communications Infrastructure, Guidelines on Advertisements and Promotions, as well as Consumer Code of Practice Regulations.
He said the focus areas were already articulated in some important documents guiding the operations of the Commission, which include the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP) 2020 – 2025, the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) 2020 – 2030, NCC’s Strategic Management Plan (SMP) 2020-2024, and its Strategic Vision Implementation Plan (SVIP) 2021–2025, which are being implemented towards achieving its mandate.
While stating that these strides are the results of the Commission’s regulatory efficiency and focused implementation of policies and strategies of the Federal Government of Nigeria, Danbatta said the public inquiry is in tandem with the Commission’s strategy of consulting stakeholders in all its regulatory interventions.
The EVC further stated that the amendment of these regulatory instruments was to reflect current realities, one of which is the anticipated deployment of the Fifth Generation (5G) technology, and management of shortcodes in Nigeria, including the Toll-Free Emergency Code 112.