The Executive Vice-chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Professor Umar Garba Danbatta has pledged the support of the Commission towards the effective implementation of the National Broadband Plan 2020-2025.
Professor Danbatta made the pledge at the inauguration of the Steering Committee of the National Broadband Plan 2020- 2025 by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami in Abuja today.
In view of this, the NCC has been saddled with the responsibility of leading the team that will ensure effective monitoring and steering of the overall implementation of the National Broadband Plan (NBP) 2020-2025.
This followed the designation of NCC’s Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, Engr. Ubale Maska, as the Chairman of the newly-inaugurated Broadband Implementation Steering Committee, (BISC), by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami.
The new Broadband Plan 2020-2025 was designed to deliver data download speeds across Nigeria of a minimum 25Mbps in urban areas, and 10Mbps in rural areas, with effective coverage available to at least 90% of the population by 2025 at a price not more than N390 per 1GB of data i.e. 2% of median income or 1% of minimum wage.
The plan is being tailored in line with the pledge by President Muhammadu Buhari to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.
The plan will accelerate the aspiration of the country, as it leapfrogs with the rest of the developed world towards the widespread deployment of 5G technologies, even while it is yet to achieve significant 4G coverage and adoption among other things.
Danbatta, however, thanked the Minister for putting in place the Implementation and Steering Committee for the Broadband Plan 2020-2025, while urging the committee to work in synergy.
In his remarks, the Director-General of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mr Abdullahi Kashifu Inuwa said, “This is another unprecedented milestone in accomplishing a Digital Nigeria, creating the policy is not enough, it needs to be implemented. This ministry is not just for policies. This broadband plan is what will provide the needed infrastructure for a Digital Economy”.
On her part, the Managing Director of Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NIGCOMSAT), Dr Abimbola Alale said, “there was no broadband plan when the Minister came on board. But he quickly put in place the process that provided the new National Broadband Plan. It is not about putting in place but rather implementing the plan”.
Members of the Committee were drawn from the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and agencies under its supervision, including the Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), World Bank, Academia, Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA), among others.