By Omobayo Azeez
The National Broadband Plan Committee constituted to chart way for achieving improved broadband penetration in Nigeria has tendered its report on the national assignment to the minister of communications and digital economy.
The minister received the draft report of the National Broadband Plan Committee 2020-2025 on Wednesday as the report was presented to him in his office by the chairman of the committee, Funke Opeke, chief executive officer (CEO), MainOne Cable.
The committee is co-chaired by Bashir Gwandu, former executive commissioner technical services at NCC, while Engr. Ubale Maska, NCC’s executive commissioner technical services serves as the secretary of the committee.
In attendance at the presentation ceremony on Wednesday were members of the committee and others including the executive vice chairman and CEO of NCC, Umar Danbatta.
Dr. Pantami inaugurated the Committee on 16 December 2019 to develop a new National Broadband Plan 2020-2025 that will be a guiding template for further development of the telecommunications sector.
This followed the expiration of the 2013-2018 National Broadband Plan which was designed to achieve at least 30 per cent broadband penetration in Nigeria.
At the expiration of the old Plan, Nigeria achieved 37.8 percent broadband coverage.
At the inauguration of the new NBP committee, Pantami urged the members to review the old plan, examine its challenges and proffer solutions.
He equally urged the committee to undertake the assignment in the context of growing and emerging technologies.
The new broadband plan, being developed with the support and collaboration of the government of the United Kingdom (UK), is expected to increase broadband penetration to 70 percent by 2025 in order to give concrete expression to Federal Government’s commitment to making Nigeria a truly digital economy.
It will be recalled that on January 3, 2020, while engaging the Nigerian press at a media briefing and chat, Pantami promised that the report of the new NBP Committee will be ready in the first quarter of the year 2020.