The Executive Vice Chairman of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta has again states the enormous impact of broadband to enterprise development in Nigeria. He emphasized this during the Institute of Directors’ Members Evening. Prof. Danbatta who as represented by NCC Assistant Director, Technical Standards, Edoyemi Ogoh. “Broadband impact is very huge for enterprise development. Many ccompanies have leverage the opportunities provided by broadband acessibility to enhance their productivity”.
Given the broadband challenges of relatively limted infrastructure sharing, power supply issues, high right of way change, duplication of backhaul intercity fibre, lack of metropolitan fibre infrastructure in towns and cities, multiple taxation and regulation, limited spectrum bandwidth, discriminatory pricing by existing infrastructure owners, poor perception of broadband value and unsatisfactory broadband speed, NCC helmsman assures Nigerians that the Commission is ready to access the market and drive broadband infrastructure. “Nigerian Communications Commission initiatives to advance broadband includes licence of infraCos on a regional basis to provide fibre and wholesale transmission services on a non-discriminatory, open access and price regulated basis, license the 2.3GHz spectrum for wholesale wireless last mile services as well as ongoing discussion with various levels of government to facilitate speed in processing permits”.
On his part, the President of Institute of Directors (IoD), Mr. Samuel Yemi Akeju reiterates the importance of broadband access to the viability of Nigeria’s economy. “Government has taken significant progress in broadband ecosystem in Nigeria. ICT sector is a major employer of labour in Nigeria. Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is here to address the performance of broadband network in Nigeria to support Nigeria’s Presidents’ resolve to diversify the economy and fight corruption.”
With teledensity rate reaching 151 million mobile subscribers (107%), internet penetration rate at 69% and broadband penetration standing at 10% as at December 2015, NCC objectives for broadband initiatives is to achieve high level of broadband penetration across the geo-political zones in Nigeria, ensure competitive and affordable pricing of high-speed broadband internet and position Nigeria as a leading infrastructure hub Africa.
The 2009, World Bank Information and Communications for Development report showed that access to broadband boosts economic growth in all countries, but most especially in developing ones. The study showed that in developing countries, for every ten-percentage points of broadband penetration, their economies grew by 1.38 per cent. The report, conducted in 120 countries between 1980 and 2006, showed that developed countries’ economies grew by 1.21 per cent. The figures confirm that broadband access is key for economic growth and even more vital in developing countries. Many Africans are seizing the opportunity that it offers to move their economies forward.
It is hoped that with the recent pronouncements of the leadership of the Nigeria Communications Commission and the Ministry of Communications, coupled with efforts by Presidential Committee on Broadband, Nigerians should expect a more rapid development of broadband infrastructure in the country so as to increase access and enable more small businesses benefit from the world of opportunities which broadband offers.
By Oyediji Oluwaseun Babatunde