Telecoms investment in Nigeria hits $17bn

Edwin Akwueh, Abuja


Executive Director, Stakeholders Management in the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Mr. Sunday Dare, has revealed that the commission had grown the country’s telecommunications investment market to the tune of $17 billion.

Mr. Dare disclosed this on Thursday in Abuja when he appeared before the Senate for screening as one of the ministerial nominees by President Muhammadu Buhari.

He also said that the NCC had in the last three years increased the contributions of the telecoms sector to the national Gross Domestic Product, GDP from 9.1% in 2015 to 10.1% in the first quarter of this year.

The nominee noted that, out of about 192 million Nigerian population, 172 million subscribers had been registered, pointing out that efforts were being made to further deepen telephony and had also set target to do better.

Broadband Penetration
Mr. Dare further stated that the country, under the supervision of the NCC, had attained 33% (65 million) broadband penetration of its broadband development plan in Nigeria.

“To accelerate penetration, the NCC is investing in building backbone capacity to have point of access in all the 744 local governments across the country to lay 295 kilometer fibre optic”, he stressed.

On how to leverage on telecommunication to arrest perpetrators of crimes especially kidnappers in the country, he said that it is purely a security affair, and that the NCC was collaborating with the Office of the National Security Adviser, Department of State Security, DSS, National Intelligence Agency, NIA and other government security outfits to use available database to monitor and track activities of kidnappers.

He said that NCC in conjunction with the National Identity Management Commission, NIMC had worked on about 50 million SIM cards and had captured about 85% of all SIM cards in use in the country, in a bid to curtail criminality.