The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) remitted N463 billion to the Federal Government’s Consolidated Revenue Fund from 2015 to April 2022.
This was disclosed by the Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, when he led the management team on a visit to the new Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. William Alo, in Abuja.
Danbatta, while briefing Alo on the status of the industry after his deployment to the ministry, disclosed that the focus of the commission was on its Strategic Vision (Implementation) Plan SVP 2021 – 2025, which took into consideration the provisions of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy 2020-2030, and National Broadband Plan 2020-2025.
The EVC said SVP has five focus areas, which include: operational efficiency and regulatory excellence, facilitation of infrastructure provision for the digital economy, promotion of fair competition, inclusive growth and investment, improvement of quality of service, quality of experience and facilitation of strategic collaboration.
In a statement, signed by the Director of Public Affairs, NCC, Reuben Muoka, Danbatta who led a team of two executive commissioners and directors of the commission to the briefing, listed successes recorded since 2015 as teledensity, broadband penetration and significant contribution of the industry to the GDP that grew from 8.5 per cent in the 4th quarter of 2015 to 12.61 in the 4th quarter of 2021 as the sector also attracted over $2 billion in foreign direct investment over the period.
Other achievements listed by the commission are the recent successful auction of 3.5GHz spectrum for 5G, licensing of seven fibre optics infrastructure providers and an additional 38, 296 kilometer fibre optic to the country’s spectrum.
He noted that access gap clusters in the country have been reduced from 217 to 114 to enable 15 million Nigerians to have access to telecommunications services and increase fibre optics deployments from 47,000 kilometers to 54, 725 kilometers.
Danbatta revealed that the 3G and 4G base transceiver stations (BTS) in the country have increased from less than 30,000 in 205 to 53, 460, while seven VSAT gateway earth stations have been licensed to boost broadband penetration.
He informed the new Perm Sec that the commission under him has also remitted N463 billion to the Consolidated Revenue Fund from 2015 to April 2022, while landing permits have been issued to 53 Geo Satellite Orbits (GSO) space stations and 923 non-GSO space stations.
Responding, the new perm sec commended the leadership of the NCC for remarkable strides of the agency that has earned a remarkable international reputation for Nigeria and placed the telecoms regulator in the forefront of the nation’s quest for forward-looking national economic growth.
“So far so good. The entire country, and beyond, is fully aware of the strategic importance of the NCC as a regulating institution of the telecommunications industry in Nigeria. And, of course, we are aware today that between oil and communications, the latter is gradually taking over in the provision of revenue for the country as the nation strives to diversify the economy,” he said.
Alo said the quality of service has improved tremendously over the past few years. “Your efforts are generally felt in the economy. So when you talk of digitalisation of the economy the NCC and the operators are the first port of call.”
He requested the leadership of the commission to continue the good work and also strive to bridge the infrastructural gap that may create a gap between the served and underserved communities in the country.