Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has bagged Nigeria’s Tech Innovation and Telecoms Awards (NTITA) for the year 2020.
According to a statement released on the NCC website and signed by the director of public affairs, Ikechukwu Adinde, Prof Umar Danbatta, NCC Executive Vice Chairman (EVC), was honoured with the “Broadband Oxygenator of the Year” for his commitment to the development of broadband infrastructure to support the country’s digital economy drive while NCC, as a corporate organisation received the “Outstanding Contribution to Driving Greater Broadband Penetration Award of the Year”.
Through the articulation of a Strategic Vision Plan (SVP) for the fiscal years 2015-2020, which symbolises the focused leadership, Danbatta brought on board as the chief telecoms regulator in the country, broadband penetration increased from 6 per cent in 2015 to 45 per cent in September 2020.
Also, basic active internet subscriptions grew from 90 million to 143.7 million while active voice subscription increased from 151 million to 205.25 percent during the same period with teledensity also reaching 107.53 percent as at end of September 2020.
The last five years have seen the number of licensed Infrastructure Companies (InfraCo) increasing from two in 2015 to six currently. The InfraCos are to deploy broadband infrastructure, on a wholesale basis in the 774 Local Government Areas in Nigeria.
The Commission is currently reviewing the framework for the licensing of InfraCo to ensure sustainable funding options for effective implementation of the proposed national fibre project towards increasing broadband penetration to 70 percent target, as set in the new national broadband plan by 2025.
The ongoing review of the InfraCo framework is to cater for the delays in take-off, change in the exchange rate, supply chain and other challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic with respect to InfraCo implementation.
NCC and Danbatta’s recognitions at the NTITA 2020 were also hinged on the increase in the contribution of the telecom sector the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from 8.5 percent in 2015 to 14.30 percent as of the second quarter of 2020, translating to N2.272 trillion in financial value.