The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), remitted N362.34 billion into the Federal Government’s Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF), from 2015 to date, Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, has said.
Danbatta, who spoke at an interactive session in Abuja last weekend, said that the revenue was realised through spectrum fees and operating surplus, which he noted helped to boost the revenue generation drive of the present administration.
Danbatta also said that the NCC had continued to collaborate with academics to support the development of the innovative services and life-changing solutions with the use of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) to promote indigenous contents.
“The commission has so far released N336.4 million as research grants to the academia and has endowed professional chairs in two Nigerian universities.
“More importantly, we have empowered the Nigerian youths by promoting their ingenuity and innovation in the development of locally-relevant technology solutions.
“The latest of such was the 2020 NCC Virtual Hackathon, where we gave N9 million in grant to three top promising tech startups for solutions aimed at addressing the impact of COVID-19 and diseases in thematic areas of health, community, productivity, economy and transportation,” Danbatta said.
He said that the broadband penetration in 2015, when he first assumed office as Executive Vice Chairman, was six per cent but has spiked to 42 per cent as of July 2020.
“This achievement is as a result of key policy initiatives to improve broadband penetration embarked upon by the commission.
“These include increasing the number of licenced infrastructure companies (InfraCo) to six companies across the six geo-political zones,” among others.
Danbatta said that the commission was currently finalising six InfraCo counterpart funding agreements to ensure the full rollout of broadband infrastructure on an Open Access Model.
He said that this would ensure there was Point of Access in all the 774 local government areas in the country.
The executive vice chairman said that the drive to boost broadband penetration yielded fruits as the subscribers’ base stood at 199.31 million as of June.
Danbatta also said that teledensity rose to 104.41 while the sector contributed 14.2 per cent to the GDP in the second quarter of 2020.
On his focus for the next five years, Danbatta said that he hoped to deepen the broadband penetration drive.
“We hope to take broadband penetration to 70 per cent to at least 90 per cent of the population by 2025 in line with the new target in the National Broadband Plan (NBBP), 2020-2025.”
“We want to continue to protect consumers and ensure they have value for their money. We want to continue to support and fast-track the digital economy drive of the Federal Government and this has led to the creation of a Digital Economy Department in the Commission,” Danbatta added.
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