By Clifford Agugoesi, Editor-in-Chief
The Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of the Nigerian Communications Commission(NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, has observed that the maximisation of the dividends of digital transformation cannot happen without a corresponding robust availability of resilient telecoms infrastructure.
Prof. Danbatta made this remark during the virtual forum on Right of Way(RoW) Reforms and Planning Permits for Masts and Towers in Nigeria organised by the British Government’s Prosperity Fund’s Digital Access Programme in collaboration with Nigerian Communications Commission and the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy on Thursday, August 13, 2020.
Danbatta was represented by the NCC’s Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, Adeleke Adewolu, who gave the remarks on his behalf.
Dwelling on the webinar’s background, Prof. Danbatta stated: “In maximizing the benefits of digital transformation, resilient Telecoms Infrastructure is the key enabler in delivering ICT services. Therefore, this technical conference is apt, as it provides effective solutions to RoW challenges amongst others.”
On action points and next steps to be taken, the EVC/CEO of the NCC, said the input of the conference would assist the Government in further reducing the encumbrances bedeviling ICT infrastructure, especially in the provisioning and building of resilient fixed Infrastructure in the federation.
According to Danbatta, the event would further assist in the quest to deepen broadband deployment and penetration in Nigeria, saying ubiquitous broadband would propel social and economic development and growth of citizens, namely in local content development and innovations, the proliferation of ICT industries, building digital skills, et cetera.
He pledged the readiness of the NCC to collaborate with the UK Government Prosperity Fund-Nigeria Project, especially on the subject matter namely reforming the administration of RoW and planning permits in Nigeria.
Said he: “We note, the short, medium, and long-tern actions set up in the report and we will work assiduously to their achievement. We also, encourage our service providers to appreciate some of the challenges faced by the state government and hope this will enable them to collaborate with the state government to effectively overcome the challenges. “
The Commission congratulated and thanked the UK Government Prosperity Fund Digital Access Project team for organizing the event as well as the robust contributions of all stakeholders and the general support of the UK Government to Nigeria’s digital transformation processes, in particular to this event, adding “it is a conversation of ideas that will support existing policies and commitment to Broadband for all.”
Key stakeholders, who participated at the virtual conference included, but were not limited to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, the UK Government’s Digital Access Programme Adviser and Country Lead, Idongesit Udoh, Governors of Ekiti, Katsina, Sokoto, Imo, Plateau and Kwara States.
Others were the representatives of state governments; members of the Presidential Committee on Broadband Plan monitoring and implementation, industry and private sector leaders in tech and telecommunications sector, civil society groups and the media.