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Industry Stakeholders React Over NCC -Facilitated Increased Broadband Penetration

Pantami
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Pantami Highly Excited

By Angeline Mgbele, Correspondent Abuja

The Honourable Minister of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Increased broadband penetration in the country brought about by competent regulation of the industry by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC)has triggered of positive sentiments from industry stakeholders. On his part, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami is excited broadband figures, as released by NCC, increased to 45.43 per cent by the end of October 2020, an increase of 4,061,731 broadband subscriptions between September and October 2020.

In a statement from Technical Assistant (Information Technology) to the

Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr ‘Femi Adeluyi, November 11, 2020,

Dr. Pantami attributed the notable increase in broadband penetration to conscientious implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy for the overall benefit of the economy to achieve a Digital Nigeria. “In particular, the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (2020-2025), along with the harmonization of Right of Way charges across the States and protection of Critical National Infrastructure across the country, amongst others, have had a significant impact on the broadband penetration,” he said.

The Minister alluded to existing literature that suggests Broadband is critical to sustainable economic growth. According to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Broadband Series, broadband contributes to economic growth through more efficiency in business processes, acceleration of innovation and more efficient functional deployment of enterprises. A Report titled “How Important Are Mobile Broadband Networks for Global Economic Development” shows that 10 per cent increase in mobile broadband penetration results in approximately 0.6 per cent to 2.8 per cent rise in Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In some countries, it increases the GDP by over 6 per cent.

According to Pantami: “The increase in broadband penetration is leading to the growth of Nigeria’s economy in a way that transcends the ICT sector. Broadband has supported growth and enabled financial institutions in the delivery of services to their customers. It has also enabled the provision of digital services across the different sectors of the economy.

It is noteworthy that all these are part of the digital economy, which has been defined as “that part of economic output derived solely or primarily from digital technologies with a business model based on digital goods or services” – consisting of the digital sector plus emerging digital and platform services.”

Dr. Adeluyi stated that the Minister has directed the Nigerian Communications Commission and the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), as the regulators of Internet services, to ensure that quality of service improves.

“Dr. Pantami would also like to urge all stakeholders to keep supporting the Ministry in the implementation of the Broadband Plan for the overall benefit of the economy,” he said.

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