Telecomms

NCC’s Maska Chairs Ministerial Broadband Implementation Steering Committee

Broadband Implementation - cfamedia

The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has been saddled with the responsibility of leading the team that will ensure, effective monitoring and steering of the overall implementation of the National Broadband Plan, (NBP), 2020-2025.

This followed the designation of NCC’s Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, Engr. Ubale Maska, as the Chairman of the newly inaugurated Broadband Implementation Steering Committee, (BISC), by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami.

While inaugurating the inter-agency and multi-sectoral committee in Abuja on Thursday, the Minister said the central responsibility and mandate of the Committee, which will have its secretariat in NCC, is to ensure effective monitoring for implementation of the National Broadband Plan (NBP), 2020- 2025.

The Minister said the inauguration of the committee, was part of the ongoing journey for a Digital Nigeria, which had received a boost, since his assumption of office in August 2019.

“The journey started with the approval for the transformation of the ministry and its parastatals in October 2019, from mere ICT institutions to digital economy institutions, by the President.

This was followed by the unveiling of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, (NDEPS), in November 2019 and the development of a new NBP 2020-2025, which was launched by the President on March 19, 2020”, Pantami stated.

He explained further that all the efforts were meant to put Nigeria on the global digital economy map, supported by robust broadband infrastructure.

He noted that under the NDEPS, Solid Infrastructure components, which is the 3rd pillar, will provide the bedrock for the realization of the country’s digital economy vision.

“In the new National Broadband Plan, there are many targets. The The principal of which is to cover 90 per cent of the Nigerian population, with broadband access and 70 per cent broadband penetration, by 2025.

We, also, plan to achieve a broadband speed of 25 megabits per second, (mbps), in urban areas and 10 mbps in rural areas, by the end of implementation of the new Broadband plan,” Pantami said.

While noting that the implementation of the new NBP had started fully and is resulting in the increase in broadband penetration, currently at 40.14%, up from 35.

10% in August, 2019, the Minister said the ICT industry, contributed 14.07% to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product, (GDP), in the first quarter of 2020. He noted that increased broadband penetration will help Nigeria to achieve increased GDP growth.

The Minister, however, explained that problems of Right of Way, protection for telecom infrastructure and multiple taxations, which are critical to fast-track broadband infrastructure deployment and penetration, are being addressed from all fronts.

He added that the efforts are already yielding positive results, with the engagement of relevant stakeholders, including State governments and the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, (NGF).

Earlier in his remarks, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta commended the Minister for the inauguration of the committee and promised the support of the Commission, towards the realisation of the mandate of the Committee.

The Chairman of the Committee, Engr. Maska, also assured the Minister of the Committee members’ readiness to deliver on the assignment.
Present, also, at the inauguration are, the Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency, (NITDA), Mr. Kashifu Abdullahi; Managing Director, Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited, (NIGCOMSAT), Dr. Abimbola Alale and Managing Director, Galaxy Backbone, Prof. Muhammed Abubakar.

The Committee draws membership from the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and agencies under its supervision, Including the Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), World Bank, Global System for Mobile Communications Association, (GSMA), among others.


Featured Image: Engr. Ubale Maska, Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, NCC and Chairman, Broadband Implementation Steering Committee, at the inauguration of the National Broadband Plan Implementation Steering Committee, by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy in Abuja, on Thursday, July 9, 2020.


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