By Ismail Auwal
The Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) on Thursday clued up State Governors on how to use broadband technologies to empower people.
In a programme, titled “State Broadband Coordinating Councils: Potentials and Possibilities,” which took place at the Congress Hall of the Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja, the commission calls for the support of the State Governors to help address challenges to the deployment of broadband infrastructure by the telecom companies who are expected to deploy the necessary infrastructure to provide broadband services in all corners of Nigeria.
The event’s host, Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, stated that the aim was to find a better understanding and comprehensive answers to all problems influencing faster broadband deployment.
He reminded participants that, “though we are making gradual progress towards our target, but this forum will provide us with deeper insights on how to address identified challenges to broadband deployment.”
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, in his address said that the potentials of broadband are so enormous that if made available for their citizens, will be the best gift for their economic emancipation.
Pantami told the state governors and their representatives and other industry stakeholders that greater support and collaboration will be required from the State governors towards addressing challenges to broadband infrastructure deployment by the telecom companies.
The Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, in his goodwill message gave an impressive report card about what he has already achieved with Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the education sector, and many other sectors of the Edo State economy.
He assured stakeholders of the readiness and willingness of the state governments to work more with the Federal Government but emphasized the need for increased open dialogue and trust between the States and the Federal Government.
Representatives of other state governors also expressed their determination to cooperate more with the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, the NCC and other telecom companies to facilitate the deployment of fibre infrastructure which they believe would improve the socio-economic lives of citizens.
The Chairman, Board of Commissioners at NCC, Prof. Adeolu Akande, had in his remarks, said Nigeria deserves to be in tune as the world goes digital in all spheres, as we cannot afford to lag in being among the countries leveraging broadband for socio-economic development.
“We recognize the fact that Nigeria is a nation with federating units. Hence, it would be difficult to achieve faster and desired broadband penetration level without effective collaboration with the state governors,” he said. Akande particularly emphasised the centrality of synergy to tackle all challenges undermining broadband deployment, particularly multiple taxation, right of way (RoW), denial of access to telecoms sites for maintenance, vandalism, insecurity, among others” the Chairman of NCC Board of Commissioners said.