President Muhammadu Buhari has instructed the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to deploy broadband to all nooks and crannies of the country.
The Executive Vice Chairman of the commission, Prof. Umar Dambatta, made this known this in Kano. He said that the action was geared towards the enhancement of socio-economic development through telecommunication technology.
Speaking during the first-leg of Broadband Engagement Forum for stakeholders in the North, Dambatta said the country had been divided into seven zones, namely: North-West, North-East, North-Central, South-South, South-East, South-West and Lagos zones, so as to ensure effective and equitable broadband service deployment.
He added that the tremendous capacity of broadband services at the Lagos landing points is not being felt in the hinterlands, pointing out that there is an urgent need to cover areas where the broadband services have not reached for the benefit of people who are resident outside major cities.
According to him, the NCC had constituted an implementation monitoring committee, not only to monitor the establishment of the broadband infrastructure project, but to also ensure adequate sensitisation of all stakeholders, as well as proffer solutions to challenges of broadband deployment, such as payment of taxes and right-of-way.
In highlighting the benefits of broadband services, Dambatta expressed confidence that there would be gradual transformation in the areas of health, education, transportation, socio-economic development, as well as transparency and openness in governance.
He also noted that the implementation of the broadband project would impact positively on the lives of Nigerians, adding that with broadband services, Nigeria could join the league of 20 most powerful countries by the year 2020.
He said all dedicated zones were expected to achieve the broadband -implementation, not below 1.5-megabyte requirements, because the national broadband office had defined the speed achievable and that should be maintained, if the transformation must be made possible.
The executive vice chairman noted that Nigeria had achieved telecommunications outreach of 160 million, and broadband penetration of 20 per cent.