…Claims Broadband penetration now 22% to hit 30% by year end
The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Umar Danbatta, on Monday in Lagos made it clear that no matter Teleology Holdings Limited may have emerged the preferred bidder in the ownership of troubled 9mobile telecom; it can only take full possession of the licence whenever the Commission has done an integrity test on its technical competence.
Though he did not give any time frame when the agency will conduct the competency test, he explained that whereas the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is following up the bidding process with checks on the financial strength, NCC is bound to carry out the test on the technical competence of whoever that finally emerged as the real preferred bidder of 9mobile, formally Etisalat Nigeria.
Earlier in his address, Prof Danbatta noted that “With a combination of licences for infrastructure provisioning and spectrum auctions, and re-farming of some of the existing spectrum to make them more efficient, we hope to attain the recommendation of the National Broadband Plan (NBP), and possibly surpass it by the end of 2018”.
Continuing, he revealed that “The International telecommunication Union (ITU) report credited to Nigeria indicated a 22 per cent broadband penetration since 2017,” stressing that “NCC is working assiduously to accomplish the 30 per cent national target for 2018 as envisaged in the NBP 2013 to 2018”.
However, industry experts at different fora have expressed doubts on the ability of the nation to meet the set target by year end considering a number of factors that are currently militating against the feat.
Some of the factors according to them include forex scarcity, Right of Way issues in states, vandalism and insecurity of installations in some tensed states.