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NCC to obtain licences for telecom infrastructure in 5 zones

Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said that the commission would bid to obtain the license for the deployment of infrastructure to five zones in the country.

The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, made this known on Thursday at the Annual Nigerian Academy of Engineering Lecture in Abuja,

“The zones are,South South , South West , South East, and North East and the North-West zones of the country,” he said.

According to Danbatta,“We have over forty kilometers of fiber subscribers across the country, but we have also indicated the gap, therefore, we are licensing Infraco to take care of those gaps and facilitate connectivity between these areas. That way, you have both Intra and inter-fiber network across the federation”.

He maintained that “until we protect telecom infrastructure from vandalism, we are not going to be able to reach that percentage of broadband penetration by 2018.”

“it is very important as we make progress to reach the target, whatever effort we are making in terms of investment, those efforts must be protected by the law,” he said.

He said the commission is starting with the wholesales service proficiency to see how far it can go in achieving the target of broadband penetration by 2018.

“We have also established a committee that would plug the fiber gab in the system and they will also monitor by ensuring that we do what we call targeted plan in places where we have gabs.

“We have incentives that we are given in places of milestones. These incentives we are giving in the licensing framework are intended to ensure that the gaps are blocked. It is a mechanism to encourage states in the bidding process,” the NCC boss said,
He noted that all network service providers will have to comply with the policy on the code of service in the country, adding that the commission and Nigerian Academy of Engineering also appealed to the National Assembly to ensure the passage of the critical Infrastructure Bill for effective protection of telecom infrastructure in the country.

Danbatta said, “My commission is to use the Nigerian Academy of Engineering as a lobbying force to appeal to the National Assembly to pass the bill on infrastructure as a critical sector because we feel telecom infrastructure is crucial to the transformation of the nation’s economy  and therefore should be protected.”

The President, Nigerian Academy of Engineering, Engr. Mrs. J O Maduka, pledged to ensure that the bill is passed for the development of the country.

The lecture titled: “The National Broadband Plan as a Strategy for Social Economic Transformation” is aimed at achieving the target of 30% broadband penetration for the nation.

The occasion, which presented a tempting opportunity to give an update of Broadband growth in Nigeria  and his plan to escalate the reach of the technology to the various ends of the country, also underscores the Academy’s mission statement to provide input and leadership in national technological issues and policies at the highest level possible.