Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, has said robust multi-stakeholder engagement is critical to accelerating rapid connectivity in the country.
Danbatta stated this while delivering a keynote address at the 2020 National Information Technology Reporters’ Association virtual innovative tech webinar on ‘Multi-Stakeholder Approach to National Recovery Post-Pandemic’ on Wednesday.
He stressed that increased collaboration was central to revamping the economy, by leveraging the deployment of robust broadband infrastructure being driven by NCC.
This has become more important following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, and its impacts on the global economy.
In 2016, the commission came up with its eight-point agenda ‘Strategic Vision Plan’ as a roadmap to prepare Nigeria’s information and communication technology sector for the future.
“We did so, mindful of the role that the telecommunications sector plays in the development of our economy, and since then, we have guided our regulatory efforts to ensure the sustained growth of the sector,” Danbatta said.
According to the NCC boss, from 2015 to date, a lot of initiatives have been undertaken by the commission to provide the needed telecoms infrastructure to support and transform the various sectors of the economy.
These include licensing of the infrastructure companies, effective management of spectrum in the country, improving quality of service, engaging with necessary stakeholders, all of which have resulted in increased broadband infrastructure deployment by telcos.
He said the result of the efforts was the increase in broadband penetration beyond 43 per cent as of August 2020 and reiterated the commitment of the commission to further increase digital access across the country in the coming years, as it continues to work towards achieving the 70 per cent broadband penetration target set by the federal government within the National Broadband plan 2020-2025.
Danbatta commended NITRA for organising the forum and restated the NCC’s commitment to continue to deepen multi-stakeholder partnership with relevant industry stakeholders, especially the media, towards advancing the desired goals of the digital economy in the country.