The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, has disclosed that the next national Broadband plan will see the country achieving 70 per cent broadband penetration by 2024.
He made this disclosure yesterday at the commission’s Headquarters in Abuja.
Danbatta, while addressing the management team of Airtel Africa said that, “We are steadily seeing increase in broadband penetration. As at February, there is a new target of 70 per cent in the next five years. We will come up with new. So, far, no official announcement has been made on that by the minister.
“I am sure government will come up with official announcement on the new national Broadband plan, Phase 2. In the area of data usage, there is also steady increase in data usage. We are again seeing that from 4G network services.
“It is important to talk about other statistics. As at February 2019, we had 174 million Nigerians who had access to telecom voice services. And the number is steadily rising. Internet penetration too in real terms is 100 milion.”
He commended Airtel Nigeria for being a major player in the expansion of broadband penetration, saying “it is good to see Airtel providing services, especially 4G services. It is also good to hear the level of expansion because we are seeing remarkable improvement in broadband penetration.
“The figures are increasingly are going up. We are at about 33 per cent now. This we can attribute to very ambitious expansion of network operators like Airtel in places like Lagos, Kano, Rivers, Ibadan, Abuja. This lends credence to figures we are seeing from broadband penetration.
“We are seeing increase in broadband subscription, especially to services provided by Airtel. It is good for Nigerians to hear this that Airtel is helping us to hit the broadband penetration target.”.
Speaking further he said, “we were supposed to achieve 30 per cent as at December 2018 but we have exceeded that target courtesy of national Broadband Plan.
He added that henceforth, whatever percentage increase NCC will given out in percentage terms will be in reference to the existing Nigerian population, saying all growth parameters are steadily growing courtesy of expansion programme on 4G operators in the country, especially Airtel.
CEO Airtel Nigeria, Mr. Segun Ogunsanya in his reaction said, his organisation was pleased to be at NCC.
“Over the years we have seen various mile stone some been achieved and some been surpassed is due to your vision for the industry and support for the operators in the industry.
“By creating a level playing ground for all the players to succeed and do well. On behalf of Airtel we say a big thank you.
“And we also wish you continuous success as you regulate and lead the industry and recognize us as one of the leading telecom companies in the country. We create wealth, support and connect people”, he stated.