By Grace Airhule
Nigeria’s broadband penetration rose to 44.5 percent in July 2022 from 40.9 percent in February 2022, according to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman and chief executive officer of the commission, stated this while speaking at a three-day public inquiry on five telecom regulations and guidelines held recently in Abuja.
Danbatta said the new penetration figure is a positive indication that the country’s expected target of 70 percent would be achieved by 2025. He added that there are also plans to review the country’s short code services to enhance development of the telecom sector.
The NCC boss believes that emerging technologies and advancements in the telecom sector demand proportionate regulations and guidelines to match the developments.
“With the technological advancements anticipated in the coming years, it is expected that there will be a proliferation of devices in the industry. It is, therefore, essential for the Commission to ensure that the right regulatory frameworks can accommodate such eventualities,” Danbatta said.
The CEO said the public inquiry which covered five areas of existing regulations is aimed at achieving operational efficiency and operational excellence.
He listed the regulatory instruments under review at the public inquiry to include Type Approval Regulations, Guidelines on Short Code Operation in Nigeria, Guidelines on Technical Specifications for the Deployment of Communications Infrastructure, Guidelines on Advertisements and Promotions, as well as Consumer Code of Practice Regulations.
The focus areas, according to him,, were already articulated in some important documents guiding the operations of the Commission, which include the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP) 2020-2025, the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) 2020-2030, NCC’s Strategic Management Plan (SMP) 2020-2024, and its Strategic Vision Implementation Plan (SVIP) 2021-2025, which are being implemented towards achieving its mandate.
“These strides are the results of the Commission’s regulatory efficiency and focused implementation of policies and strategies of the Federal Government of Nigeria,” the EVC said.
“Therefore, reviewing these regulatory instruments were to reflect current realities, one of which is the anticipated deployment of the Fifth Generation (5G) technology, and management of short codes in Nigeria, including the Toll-Free Emergency Code 112,” he said.