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Infrastructure company Licensing for Abuja, others coming soon – NCC 

The Process for licensing a seventh Infrastructure Company (INFRACO) for the North Central including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, has been concluded and the licence  will be ready for award soon, Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communication Commission ( NCC), Umar Danbatta has announced.

Danbatta who dropped this hint at the ongoing  Digital Africa Week in Abuja,   said the commission’s framework for broadband infrastructure has led to the licensing of six infrastructure companies (INFRACOS) for North East, North West, South East, South West, South-South and Lagos.

The INFRACOS will deploy metro and intercity fibre and broadband point of access with a minimum capacity of 10 gigabits per second (10 Gbps) across the 774 Local Government Areas of Nigeria.

 According to the EVC, “With the development of Smart Cities Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) by the ITU, it is imperative to have a pervasive and ubiquitous broadband infrastructure across all our towns and cities to achieve the objectives of making them Smart”.

At the event which was organised by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and hosted by the commission, Danbatta said, “Nigeria has not only achieved but exceeded the 30% penetration target set by the National Broadband Plan (NBP) (2013 – 2018) and at the end of July 2019, our broadband penetration stood at 33.72%”.

 He gave the assurance that the commission would continue to work hard to ensure that all citizens of Nigeria have access to affordable broadband connection irrespective of location.

This assurance, according to Danbatta, is based “on the digital transformation agenda of the Federal Government anchored on Availability,  Accessibility and Affordability of broadband.”

Danbatta, a professor, said that to actualize full expeditious action on the broadband penetration across the states of Nigeria, “we have put in place Broadband Implementation Committee (BIMC) to monitor full implementation of the INFRACO Projects within the four-year implementation plan”.

According to him, “we have finalized negotiations on the Counterpart Funding to INFRACOS to support the deployment of the broadband infrastructures on which the Smart Services and other emerging technologies will be hosted”. He added that  was in agreement with the 8-point agenda of the NCC and declaration of the present Administration for the provision of ubiquitous broadband infrastructures across the country in the Next Level document.

Danbatta commended the ITU (International Telecommunication Union) for giving Nigeria the opportunity to host the 1st Digital African Week. This, he said, underscored the recognition of NCC as the regulator leading the digital transformation agenda of the Federal Government of Nigeria as a leading ICT player in the continent.

According to a statement by the director Public Affairs, Henry Ikemadu, the Digital African Week is running side by side with ITU-T Study Group 20 and Study Group 5 Regional Group, and Smart Sustainable Africa and Forum on Human Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs).

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