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Minister far from factors that can deepen broadband penetration—BH Report

Whereas the Minister of Communications, Barr. Adebayo Shittu is saying that government is concluding plans to tap into Nigerians living in the Diaspora in a bid to surpass the 30 per cent broadband penetration set in the National Broadband Plan by the end of the year, industry stakeholders seem to be maintaining that the government has not done what it should do to drive the penetration in the first instance.

A new report released by Business Hilights Intelligence Unit (BHIU) on Wednesday revealed that has been no clear or robust campaign driven by the Minister to encourage states governments to buy into the crusade of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in clearing the hurdles facing telecom companies in growing broadband infrastructure across the federation.

BHIU said “The federal government needs to prevail on states across the federation to buy into the project by way of providing soft landing for telecom investors so that Optic Fibre Cables (FOC) which drives broadband would be in place”.

“Currently, several states had maintained thick skin to this plea and the federal government has not shown commitments to resolving issues bordering on Right of Ways, multiple taxation and fibre cuts from road reconstruction activities.

It would be recalled that the president of Association of telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), “It will be a miracle for Nigeria to effectively move from the present 21 Per cent to 30 per cent by yearend given the state of things and hard stands of several states across the federation”.

Though the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is trying in having meetings with states governments, expected understanding on the side of the states are still far from reality, thus creating serious obstacle in the march to 30 per cent penetration come December 2018.

Explaining issues on the planned Nigerian Diaspora Direct Investment Summit scheduled to hold in London in April, Shitttu, many Nigerians living abroad were endowed with both the technical expertise and the financial resources to make a difference in the country’s broadband and telecommunications architecture.

The minister said because of poor electricity supply in the country, newer technologies were required for broadband connectivity in the rural communities where the customer base might not justify investment in multi-layer power generation by existing telecommunications operators.