Nigeria moved closer to its goal for affordable access as Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, this week in Abuja, received the draft report of the National Broadband Plan (NBP) Committee 2020-2025.
CEO of MainOne, who is chair of the committee, Ms Funke Opeke, presented the report to the minister. The committee is co-chaired by Dr. Bashir Gwandu, former executive commissioner Technical Services at NCC, while Ubale Maska, NCC’s executive commissioner Technical Services is the secretary of the committee.
The NBP is expected to provide the framework to boost broadband penetration from its present coverage of 37.8% to over 70% in the next five years (2020 to 2025).
According to Pantami while inaugurating the 25 member Broadband Plan Committee, last year December in Abuja, the objective is to develop a new National Broadband Plan 2020-2025 that will be a guiding template for further development of the telecommunications sector.
“The Committee is to develop a new National Broadband Plan that will be the guiding template for the development of this very important area of telecommunications. The Committee is to take a critical look at where we are after painstaking review of the 2013-2018 phase and the status of penetration now.
“The members are enjoined to also examine the challenges with a view to proffering solutions thereto. They should also look at the position of growing and emerging technologies among others. The new NBP has the collaboration and support of the United Kingdom (UK) Government,” said Pantami at the inauguration of the committee.
At the expiration of the 2013-2018 NBP, the country achieved a 37.8% broadband coverage above the 30 target. For the new NBP, the minister envisages a jump above the 70% target in a way that should help government fully concretise its digital economy agenda. For Pantami, pervasive broadband penetration holds the key to making Nigeria a truly digital economy. Last month at a media interaction in Abuja, he had assured that the new NBP committee will deliver its draft report by first quarter of the year 2020.
In attendance at the presentation ceremony were the Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), Prof. Danbatta and the Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kachifu Inuwa Abdullahi