The Nigeria Communications Commission says all challenges that hindered the deployment of broadband infrastructure have been addressed and the roll out of telecoms infrastructure across the country will soon begin.
The Executive Vice Chairman of the commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said this on Thursday in a virtual conference themed ‘Socio-Economic and Political Impact of COVID-19 on Telecom and ICT Sector in Nigeria’ organised by the Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria.
According to him, some states in the country have agreed to waive or reduce the cost of right of way while the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari(retd.), has assured operators of adequate protection of infrastructure.
“Everything that is needed to be done to kick-start the infrastructure projects in the various zones, have been done and very soon the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, will provide the exact time that these projects will kick-off,” Danbatta said.
He added, “It is more important, right from the beginning, that the protection of telecom infrastructure is critical. With the challenges of RoW no meaningful progress will be made even if we attempt to deploy more infrastructure.
“By the Federal Government’s statement as well as what we have seen some state governments do by either sticking to the harmonised price of right of way or by waiving it all together, I think we are making a statement that finally this country is ready to deploy infrastructure.”
He noted that the network congestion experienced by Nigerians during the lockdown had exposed the inadequacy for the existing broadband infrastructure.
The NCC boss commended the network providers for their resilience despite the challenges they faced.
Danbatta said it was time to address the redundancies by rolling out fibre through the infrastructure companies that had already been licensed for the six geopolitical zones of the country.
He said, “The congestion in the telecoms sector (network) that we are experiencing have exposed the inadequacy of infrastructure that we have been talking about.