Nigeria is providing six infrastructure companies (Infracos) with a N65 billion subsidy for rollout of broadband links across the country, the telecoms regulator says.
Professor Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) dropped this hint Thursday at the maiden edition of Mobile and Disruptive Technology Forum (MoDiTECH2019) organised by TechEconomy in Lagos.
Danbatta hints that NCC was “at the verge of sending the N65 billion request for supporting the already six infrastructure companies (InfraCos) licensed to roll out broadband infrastructure across the country, to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for approval.”
NCC had earlier announced that six companies issued Infraco licences include Zinox Technology Limited, for South East Zone; Brinks Integrated Solutions Limited, for North East Zone; O’odua Infraco Resource Limited, for South West; Raeanna Technologies Limited for South-South; Fleek Networks, for North West and Infrastructure Company Limited (a subsidiary of MainOne Cable Company Limited), for Lagos.
The Infracos are to licensed as InfraCos to build a national broadband network and offer capacity to all service providers on a non-discriminatory, open-access and price-regulated basis. The plan is to use the Infraco network to help boost Nigeria’s broadband and drive growth of ICTs across the country.
Danbatta, represented by Engineer Bako Wakil, Director, Technical Standards and Network Integrity, NCC says that through its regulatory excellence the agency is at the forefront of unleashing the digital economy that will spur industrial growth, job creation, and Return on Investment (RoI) for investors.
According to him, the Internet is at the leading edge of digital revolution, which informed why NCC is supporting operators to deploy more infrastructure.
“Today, Nigeria has started a testrun of 5G, the latest technology for delivering broadband services and such other services as Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI).The trial will last for three months. Nigeria hopes to join other countries which are in a rush to deploy the 5G technology because of its immense promise for digital communication,” Danbatta said.
Meanwhile, Danbatta expressed concurrence of the Commission to the renaming of the Ministry of Communications to ‘Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy’.
“The renaming of the Ministry shows a demonstration of the future of telecoms in all government sectors and the economy; the EVC, therefore, commended the Minister, Dr. Isa Pantami and members of the Federal Executive Council for the foresight and dramatic change. This, will spur a new debate and redirect the Ministry and other agencies under it as well as the private sector to a new awakening that digital economy brings,” he added.
Peter Oluka, The Editor, TechEconomy.ng and convener of the event, said the event was organised “to discuss, brainstorm, learn and review the overall impact of new digital technologies that are disrupting many sectors of the economy.