State Government are slowing down telecoms operators’ speed of optical fibre rollout in Nigeria, according to the industry regulator.
Professor Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) wants State governments to implement the Federal Executive Committee (FEC) decision on the N145 per metre Right of Way charges for fibre rollout across the country.
Danbatta reiterated the need for State governments to implement the N145 approved by the Federal Executive Committee (FEC) as the amount to be charged by states per metre of fibre laid by operators.
Danbatta reiterated the need for State governments to implement the N145 approved by the Federal Executive Committee (FEC) as the amount to be charged by states per metre of fibre laid by operators. Professor Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC)
Danbatta, who dropped the hint during the hint last week during the 2019 budget performance review and 2020 budget proposal defence of the NCC and the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) at the National Assembly (NASS) in Abuja, wants the lawmakers to intervene. The session held at the instance of the NASS joint Committee on Communications and Telecommunication of the two houses of NASS.
“As we speak, there is no indication that all the states are complying with the resolution of the National Economic Council in this regard. This has to be addressed because it is encumbering accelerated infrastructure rollout by the operators coupled with several other challenges such as multiple taxation and regulation as well as vandalism.
“These challenges are undermining our determination to achieve a more robust and pervasive telecommunication experience for the people of Nigeria in keeping with the vision of President Buhari’s administration,” Danbatta says.
He says that requires the needed support in those and other areas where it is experiencing challenges so that connectivity will be better and so will the quality of telecom service delivery.
NCC hopes to increase the number of base transceiver stations (BTS) from its current 39,000 to 80,000 in its efforts to bridge access gap and substantially address connectivity issues in the country.
Danbatta also informed the legislators about the challenges hindering faster deployment of telecoms infrastructure and requested the support of the National Assembly
As the NCC prepares to deploy broadband access points in each of the 774 Local Government Areas of Nigeria, the regulator is seeking the support of the lawmakers to address impediments to faster deployment of telecoms infrastructure across the country.
Members of the joint NASS Committee, chaired by Senator Oluremi Tinubu, acknowledged the cost-cutting measures of the Commission as reflected in 2020 budget proposal of the Commission which shows a drastic reduction in many aspects of recurrent expenditure, NCC says in a statement.
After the Committee members have sought clarifications and received satisfactory answers on aspects of the budget performance and the proposals, Tinubu said the NCC’s 2020 budget indicates compliance with the direction of President Muhammadu Buhari to run a more efficient government through effective cost-cutting measures.
Danbatta’s charge to the lawmakers comes just as he had hitherto said Nigeria needs more than 120,000 kilometres of metropolitan fibre networks interconnected across the country to achieve its goal of pervasive broadband penetration.
According to the regulator, only 38,000 kilometres have been covered so far leaving a deficit of 82,000 kilometres. -NCC
According to the regulator, only 38,000 kilometres have been covered so far leaving a deficit of 82,000 kilometres.
Effective nationwide deployment of broadband can only happen when the shortfall is met, according to Danbatta who wants the Federal Government to ensure that all the 36 states governments of the federation adhere to the resolution of National Economic Council on the Right of Way charges.
The charges according to him stipulate N145 per meter for laying fibre network in every part of the country.
“The Right of Way issue is something that refuses to go away despite the existence of a document guiding what should be charged. Presently, nobody is complying with the provision of that document.
“We cannot compel the state governments to charge N145 per meter for fibre”, was quoted to have said.
According to him, “The Federal Government can, however, meet with the governors and extract a commitment from them to ensure that NEC’s provision is strictly adhered to.”