The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), and the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, have promised to continue to drive policy initiatives that promote investment in infrastructure in the Nigerian telecom industry to deepen connectivity to enhance the nation’s growth and development.
Both leaders of the telecoms industry in the public sector gave the assurance at the on the sideline of a reception marking the landing of the Equiano undersea Cable System in Nigeria at the Open Access Data Centre at Lekki in Lagos.
Pantami and Danbatta commended Google LLC, the West Indian Ocean Cable Company (WIOCC), and other investors for bringing additional bandwidth capacity into the country to drive connectivity and growth.
While Pantami was represented at the event by NCC’s Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, Adeleke Adewolu, Danbatta was represented by the Executive Commissioner, Technical Services at NCC, Ubale Maska.
Other senior management staff of the Commission at the event included the NCC’s Director, Technical Standards and Network Integrity, Bako Wakil, and the Controller, NCC’s Ibadan Zonal Office, Yomi Arowosafe.
The Minister said the Federal Government, through the Ministry, will continue to drive the implementation of existing digital economy-oriented policies already put in place by the current administration.
Pantami also promised an enabling environment that encourages foreign and local investment in infrastructure project such as the way Google and its co-investors have done.
Danbatta said the Commission’s expectations, initiatives, and vision towards increasing broadband penetration, quality of service, advancement of a digital economy, and commitment to improving national security through technological advancement, are on the priority list of its regulatory interventions.
He expressed delight that Equiano has joined the list of other submarine cables at the shores of Nigeria, including SAT3 cable, MainOne cable, Glo1 cable, ACE cable WACS cable, Dolphin by Natcom, and MTN respectively.
He assured stakeholders of Commission’s commitment towards ensuring that the huge bandwidth capacity from these cables at shore in Lagos would be transmitted to different part of the country to drive robust and ubiquitous infrastructure.
“We are hopeful that Equiano, together with earlier undersea cables in the country, will have additional landing points in the hinterlands through collaborative efforts with NCC-licensed Infrastructure Companies (InfraCos).
This will help to reduce retail data prices significantly and thereby complementing the Commission’s efforts at ensuring that affordable Internet services are available to boost Commission’s ongoing broadband policy initiatives”, he said.
Danbatta stated and thereby helped to reiterate the objective linkages of policies and plans in the telecom ecosystem, and the national economic strategies.