The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, has informed that broadband penetration in Nigeria has climbed to 45.4 per cent.
Danbatta stated this on Wednesday when the House Committee on Telecommunications visited the Commission in Abuja for an oversight function.
He said the Commission was working to ensure that broadband services get to every part of the country, with telecoms agencies contributing about N344.71 billion into the Federal Government’s coffers in the last five years.
Danbatta, while briefing the Committee members, led by their Chairman, Prince Akeem Adeyemi, said the harmonious relationship between NCC and the National Assembly has yielded significant dividends.
Danbatta said the telecoms sector’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rose from 8.5 percent in 2015 to 14.30 percent as of the second quarter, which translates to N2.272 trillion in financial value.
He also said that telecoms investment grew from around $38 billion in 2015 to over $70 billion currently, adding that the NCC is promoting financial inclusion by encouraging the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to actively participate in providing financial services towards actualising the government’s 80 per cent inclusion target by 2020.
To continue to collaboratively advance the development of the industry, he sought the speedy passage of the Commission’s budget, enhancing the mutual working relationship and knowledge transfer sessions/capacity-building for Committee members for a better understanding of the workings of the Commission and the industry.
Meanwhile, Adeyemi, said the oversight function was in line with relevant sections of the Nigerian 1999 Constitution, as amended, which empowers the House to carry out its role of checks and balances on the executive arm of government under which the NCC, as a Federal agency, falls.
The committee commended the leadership of the Commission for its transparency in ensuring remittances to the Consolidated Revenue Fund, considering the current revenue drive of the government.
The committee urged the NCC to sustain its current template of ensuring effective regulation of the telecoms sector in a manner that would be more mutually-beneficial to the industry players, the consumers of the services, and to the Nigerian Government.