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The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta has challenged the minister of Communications, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami and President Muhammadu Buhari to see the 70% broadband penetration target set by federal government as a legacy they can bequeath to Nigerians.

He specifically reminded the minister of the need for the minister to double efforts in deploying 120km of optic fibre infrastructure across the country from a little under 50,000km presently in place to close the yawning gap.

The EVC, who spoke at the GITEX Technology Week in Dubai pledged NCC’s commitment as a sister agency under the same ministry to partner with NITDA and ministry to provide the needed support through the deployment of infrastructure, the critical mass for ICT adoption needed to empower Nigerians.

‘‘I commend the ministry for accepting to drive the broadband infrastructure across the country in all the seven geopolitical zones. We need to deploy 120km of fibre across the country, up from a little under 50,000km.

‘‘In the next four years, we need to improve the deployment of broadband infrastructure in the country and a target has been given to us to do in the Next Level Document. This the minister has pledged unwavering commitment to drive a robust broadband deployment in the country.’’

‘‘We hope to increase the 35% broadband penetration for the 70million Nigerians without access will be now have access to high speed internet. It’s clear that the speed of internet has increased since 2015. This has resulted from only 5% in 2015 to 35% in 2018,’’ he added.

‘The Commission is working steadily towards realising the set objective, noting that it will be a credit to the minister as well as the President that this happens. Therefore, we leave behind an enduring Legacy that will stand the text of time by the time we leave office. With this, we have something to look back and say, we were the ones who did everything we could to see that this digital transformation took place,’’ he added.

Responding, the minister said Nigeria desperately needs digital identity to be able to attain a true digital transformation it desires.

He promised to make the digital transformation agenda of the federal government a reality and an enduring legacy for the present administration.

He said the ministry is prepared to lead advocacy towards realization of the laudable objective.

According to the minister, ‘‘Without Digital ID, the success we could record will not be possible and the way we want it to be.’’ We will keep pushing our colleagues to see a lot can be achieved before the end of this year. We will come up with crazy ideas to achieve our e-government master plan, so that we can establish a platform where all government can have access to all,’’ he added.

Pantami challenged Nigerian delegation at the event to network with other countries that had gone ahead in digital transformation, noting that there’s need to improve on local content to be able to domesticate new innovations.

On the broadband penetration, Pantami expressed delight with success recorded so far but insisted that more efforts need to be put in place to attain the 70% broadband target set by 2021.

On his part, the Nigerian Ambassador to UAE, Amb. Mohammed Dansata Rimi challenged the minister on adoption of digital literacy, saying that the UAE is willing to assist the country to attain digital transformation.


Autor(en)/Author(s): Emmanuel Elebeke

Quelle/Source: Vanguard, 14.1.2019

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