The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says it is issuing more licences to infrastructure companies (Infracos) under a broader plan to improve Nigeria’s broadband penetration.
Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman of NCC said in Lagos that the planned InfraCo licences will cover five geo-political zones in Nigeria to encourage nationwide broadband spread.
Danbatta said this at the Focused Industry Stakeholders’ Forum and Hackathon Award, organized by the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF), an arm of the NCC, at Eko Hotel, Lagos.
The nation’s telecoms regulatory chief confirmed that two InfraCo licences have hitherto been issued for North Central and Lagos Zones to Nigerian infrastructure company, IHS and undersea cable service company, MainOne Cable Company.
According to him, the five remaining geo-political zones in Nigeria yet to be licensed include South West, South, South East, North East and North West.
Danbatta says that USPF will play significant role in the facilitation of broadband penetration in Nigeria by helping to improve quality of service, promoting ICT innovations and investment opportunities and facilitating strategic collaboration and partnerships.
The un-served population in Nigeria has been reduced from 36.8 million (24.5%) in 2013 to 33.7 million (22.5 per cent) in 2015 based on the Access Gap study and using the 150 million population benchmark, Danbatta says.
The NCC chief also underscores the need to look at Federal and State policies that are unfriendly to the deployment of ICT infrastructure in Nigeria as the current level of the ICT infrastructure nationwide as in the country has led to limited development.
USPF was established within NCC by the Federal Government of Nigeria to facilitate the achievement of national policy goals for universal access and universal service to ICTs in rural, un-served and under-served areas in Nigeria.