Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says infrastructure companies (Infracos) should deploy broadband link or lose their licences.
The licensed Infracos are expected to build transmission links for data services using an open model within six months across five geo-political zones in the country and Lagos or face the licence withdrawal risk, according to the telecoms regulator.
Professor Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman, NCC who issued the threat while speaking recently on the sidelines of the Nigerian Telecom Leadership Summit (NTLS 2019) in Lagos says that “if visible activity in infrastructure deployment are not seen from any of the six infracos given the one-year grace licence, six months ago, fail to deliver, the sanctions would be applied.”
The licensed firms include Zinox Technology Limited licensed, which is to deploy infrastructure for South East Zone; Brinks Integrated Solutions Limited, for North East Zone; O’odua Infraco Resource Limited, for South West; Raeanna Technologies Limited for South-South and Fleek Networks for North West.
The commission also licensed Infrastructure Company Limited (a subsidiary of MainOne Cable Company Limited) for Lagos.
“This is one of the biggest projects that have ever been undertaken by the regulatory agency. The licence has been granted and there is a time specified in the licence document within which they must start deploying the infrastructure, which is one year. They have since done six months and they have six more months before we see visible infrastructure rollout of broadband services in this country”, Danbatta says.
Vice- President Professor Yemi Osinbajo, who was represented by the Special adviser to the President on Political Matters, Babafemi Ojudu, expressed the Federal Government willingness to continuously act to contain the challenges facing telecom services in Nigeria, to ensure that any Nigerian yet to access affordable broadband enjoy the service soon.
He noted that telecom as an enabler of better services in other sectors has contributed tremendously to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
VP Osinbajo explained that the Federal Government in realization of this issued some Executive Orders to enable those transacting businesses in Nigeria to do so with ease, irrespective of the sector in which they were participating.
He then promised more government support towards all efforts designed to bridge the digital divide and enhance greater inclusion of citizens in the ongoing digital transformation process, particularly to NCC as the Commission mobilizes all stakeholders to achieve the laying of 120,000 Kilometres of fibre optics in Nigeria.
The Vice President says the “National Economic Committee will come up with an amicable solution as regards challenges they are facing in the sector.