…As NCC, Danbatta, Obasanjo, Others Recieve Recognition awards

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said growth in subscribers, contribution to Gross Domestic Product, internet usage and it’s impact on other sectors are some of the significant milestones of Telecoms revolution in the country.

The Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, listed this achievements while delivering a paper titled: ‘Telecommunications in Nigeria: The Next Frontier’ at the 20th anniversary of the telecommunications revolution in Nigeria organised recently by Compact Communications Limited, at the Muson Centre, Lagos.

The organisers during the event presented the Commission with a recognition award “in appreciation of its institutional support to the growth and development of telecoms in Nigeria”. The EVC also received an individual award “in appreciation of his immense contribution to the growth and sustenance of telecoms development in Nigeria.”

Represented at the forum by NCC’s Director, Public Affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, Danbatta said that in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, NCC is driving new frontiers aimed at ensuring consistent growth of the nation’s digital economy sphere.

According to him, as a foremost telecommunications regulatory agency and consistent with NCC mandate as stipulated in the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA) 2003, and other guiding legislations, the NCC has been at the forefront of leveraging latest technologies and accelerating broadband infrastructure deployment to put Nigeria on the global map of the digital economy experience.

in the last 20 years, the sector has witnessed significant growth in subscribers, internet usage, investment, innovation, contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and multiplier effects of the growth in other sectors of the economy.

Speaking on some of the initiatives, Danbatta said NCC was working to ensure increased broadband penetration in line with Federal Government’s targets as contained in the Nigerian National Broadband Pan (NNBP), 2020-2025, launched earlier this year by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Prof. Danbatta emphasized that a robust broadband infrastructure will play a key role in fast-tracking the effective deployment of 5G technology and facilitate availability of services associated with 5G technology.

“The Commission is also driving various initiatives aimed at facilitating the deployment of Fifth Generation (5G) Mobile Technology in Nigeria.

“Already, the Commission is set to auction some spectrum slots in 3.5GHz band and we have confirmed 97 per cent readiness for 5G deployment in this regard. This is in line with the marching order given to us by Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), following approval by the Federal Executive Council to proceed on our 5G Deployment Plan. The Information Memorandum (IM) for the auction had earlier been shared with stakeholders and we are set to auction the 5G spectrum before the end of the year,” he said.

The NCC Chief Executive also said another initiative the Commission is spearheading in a bid to enhance the next frontier for telecom development in Nigeria and the nation’s economic growth, is the ongoing review of licensing structure, meant to align telecoms licensing process with the wide range of technological advances, convergence of technologies and services shaping global telecoms space.

Danbatta further said the Commission has also finalized review of its Spectrum Trading Guidelines which allows spectrum resource in-country to be traded on the Secondary Market through Transfer, Sharing or Leasing (TSL) once the stipulated regulatory conditions have been complied with.

Danbatta declared that NNBP 2020-2025 requires that these Guidelines be reviewed to ensure that un-utilised spectrum is fairly traded to facilitate rollout by other operators among others.

“The NCC has unveiled its Strategic Management Plan (SMP) 2020-2024 and the Strategic Vision Plan (SVP), 2021-2025, which will ultimately drive the next frontier of growth in the telecoms sector. The two strategic plans embody critical areas on which the Commission intend to focus toward driving the implementation of the digital economy agenda of the government”, he said.

Aside the Commission and the EVC, FredOther individuals bestowed with recognition awards at the event include Former President Olusegun Obasanjo; and the former EVC/CEO of NCC, Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, both for pioneering the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) revolution of 2001.
Others are Zenith Bank awarded for being at the forefront of leveraging technology for powering financial services delivery and a veteran ICT journalist/Publisher, E-World News, Aaron Ukodie.