BusinessDay

Danbatta, others applaud rising broadband penetration in Nigeria

Umar Danbatta, the executive vice-chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), and other stakeholders in the telecom industry has lauded the steady rise in Nigeria’s broadband penetration in line with fast-tracking the pursuit of 70 percent national coverage by 2025.

Nigeria’s broadband penetration recorded a significant increase in the last seven months from November 2021 with a record of seven million new subscriptions, according to Data from NCC.

Danbatta while presenting his keynote speech at the 11th eWord forum which featured the launch of the book “Nigeria Drivers of Digital Prosperity: The Trajectories of the Digital Evolution, Sector Analysis and Players Contributions” said the sector has impressive statistics and the steady growth in broadband penetration is positively impacting other sectors of the economy such as healthcare, education, agriculture, finance, transportation, commerce, governance, and others.

“Internet subscribers have grown from 90 million in 2015 to 150.36 million as of May 2022. Also, within the period under review, broadband penetration increased from 8 percent to 43.67 percent, indicating that over 83.3 million subscribers are on broadband networks of 3G and 4G. Indeed, between November 2021 and May 2022, the networks have added 7 million new users,” Danbatta said.

The book was authored by the Convener of the forum, Aaron Ukodie, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) journalist and publisher of eWorld News Online.

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However, the former EVC of the NCC and current Chairman of MTN Nigeria, Ernest Ndukwe, who was represented by Abraham Oshadami, Head, of spectrum administration at NCC informed the audience that in the fourth quarter of 2021, the sector contributed 12.61 percent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), a reasonable leap from 8.50 percent in 2015, adding that active mobile voice subscription also increased from 151 million in 2015 to over 204 million as at May 2022, with teledensity of 107.17 percent.

While speaking on universal access and service, the NCC boss said the Commission, through the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) has recorded huge successes in ensuring that telecommunications services are accessible to a large number of people at affordable prices, in addition to various projects being implemented by the Commission to increase universal access and service as well as to enhance government efforts in poverty reduction.

He said, “through the Commission’s Strategic Vision Implementation Plan (SVP) 2021-2025, also known as NCC’s 5-Point Agenda, a number of steps have been taken towards implementing all the digital economy-oriented policies that require the attention of the Commission, including the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP) 2020-2025, and the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), 2020-2030. It is our belief that the communications industry will continue to experience more quantum leaps that will be beneficial to the nation’s economy and its citizens.”

Meanwhile, Ndukwe applauded the progressive steps that the Commission has taken since the solid foundation laid with the transparent auction of 2001 and the Nigerian Communications Act 2003 as an enabling law, giving a solid foundation upon which the current strides are being made.

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