IT News Nigeria:
President Buhari has expressed concern about the challenges faced by operators in the country, particularly vandalism of telecommunications equipment.
The Head of state revealed this at on Thursday at the unveiling of the National Broadband Plan (NBP) 2020–202 and the commissioning of the Communications and Digital Economy Complex in Abuja.
He has therefore directed the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami to work with all relevant government agencies to ensure full protection of critical national infrastructure such as telecoms infrastructure.
“ Federal Government’s commitment to ensuring that all stakeholders have a conducive environment to ensure the successful implementation of the Broadband Plan, which seeks to boost broadband penetration as well as support the deployment of 4G across the country”, Buhari is quoted as saying.
Also speaking, Prof. Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, said as at the time President Buhari’s administration came into power in 2015, broadband penetration was hovering between 4 and 6 per cent. However, broadband penetration has now reached 38.5 per cent.
Going down memory lane on the construction of the complex, Danbatta explained that as part of its desire to further develop the communications sector, the NCC set up the Digital Bridge Institute (DBI) in 2005 and the NCC-DBI hostel and recreational facilities as part of its initiative to provide a conducive atmosphere for proposed students.
“The facility was confirmed and ratified by the Federal Executive Council at its 45th meeting held on November 22, 2006. The NCC-DBI hostel and recreational facilities were abandoned before completion and were redesigned and modified by the NCC Management in 2018 from a hostel to an office complex; and was later renamed the Communications and Digital Economy Complex in line with current realities and policy direction of the government on digital Nigeria. The facility provides office accommodation to the Honourable Minister, Communications & Digital Economy and four full departments of the NCC,” he said.
On the ECC, the EVC said NCC facilitated the establishment of 18 ECCs in 17 states of the Federation and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in line with the Commission’s mandate under section 107 of Nigerian Communications Act (NCA) 2003.
“This is to promote and enhance public safety through the use of a particular number designed as the universal safety and emergency assistance number for telephone services generally; and to encourage and facilitate the prompt deployment throughout Nigeria of seamless, ubiquitous and reliable end-to-end infrastructure for emergency communication needs,” the EVC said.
The recognition of the significant role of NCC’s ECC in enhancing security, resulted in the awards received by the Commission and its CEO in 2019. Consequently, the NCC has also been inducted into the Forum of Spokesperson of Security and Response Agencies (FOSSRA), as an eloquent testimony to its commitment to leveraging new technologies to address the nation’s numerous security concerns.