BCN commends NCC, seeks USPF review

Garba Danbatta

Garba Danbatta

Backbone Connectivity Network Nigeria (BCN) has extolled the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC’s) efforts towards the deployment of fibre broadband infrastructure to the un-served and underserved areas of the country through the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF).

Ibrahim Dikko, managing director (BCN) made the remark during a presentation on the “State of the Industry – Telecom Infrastructure Company’s Perspective” at a reception organized by the Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) in honour of Professor Umar Danbatta, executive Vice Chairman of NCC, recently in Lagos.

Dikko pointed that NCC’s gesture falls in line with a World Bank study between 2000 and 2006 which found ‘low-income and middle-income countries experienced “about a 1.38 percentage point increase in GDP for each 10 percent increase in [broadband] penetration.”

The World Bank further found that the development impact of broadband on emerging economies is greater than for high-income countries, which “enjoyed a 1.21 percentage point increase in per capita GDP growth” per 10 percent increase in broadband penetration.

He said that with Nigeria’s projected 2017 GDP estimate of US$657 billion, a 1.38% GDP growth is equivalent to $8.6 billion (N309.6 Billion).

He also said that broadband penetration level is now up to 14% from 10% in 2014, signifying a growing trend in much-needed communications infrastructure.

But, in the midst of these successes, Dikko said that there are gaps in the ICT ecosystem that is inhibiting the kind of growth, sectoral connections and contribution to our economy that it is capable of.

According to him, the National Broadband objective to attain 30% broadband penetration goal by 2018 is facing challenges; “The big question before us today is —how do we develop the requisite infrastructure to sustain and increase growth rates and increase broadband penetration levels? Is the environment enabling enough to allow for more infrastructure rollout? The answer rests in how we unlock the supply chain of our Digital Ecosystem”.

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