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Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has reiterated that there is need to bridge the gap in the fiber optic cables needed to broaden the country’s broadband, stating that the country needs 120,000 additional kilometres of fibre optic cables to meet the New National Broadband Plan (NNBP) 2025 target.

It added that there was need for massive investments in about 40,000 additional Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) for the country to realise its plan on broadband penetration.

The NCC Executive Commissioner, Stakeholders’ Management, Mr. Adeleke Adewolu, disclosed this at the Third Annual Stakeholders Conference of Lagos State Infrastructure Maintenance and Regulatory Agency (LASIMRA), themed: “Transforming Lagos State into a Smart City Hub in Africa – The Government’s Infrastructure Approach”, held in Lagos.

Adewolu stated that the theme of the conference was very apt since the broadband infrastructure is the backbone of Smart Cities.

He said NCC and LASIMRA had to collaborate, but sometimes in disagreement, as Lagos State is clearly the hub of telecoms and technology activities in Nigeria.

The NCC Commissioner, however, urged the government at various levels to increase internet capacity in the country due to its huge infrastructure deficit, saying “for instance, we need over 120,000 additional kilometres of fibre optic cables cables’from the current figure of fewer than 60,000 kilometres and about 40,000 additional Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) to meet the NNBP targets by the year 2025.”

Meanwhile, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, has stated his administration’s commitment to improving the provision of adequate infrastructure to fast-track the Smart City Project to optimise the limitless opportunity of a fully digitised economy.

Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat, noted that the bedrock of a functional Smart City is adequate and functional infrastructure.

He said: “The theme of the conference expresses our administration’s commitment to the smart city project through the deployment of cutting edge technology to bring about improved and effective governance as well as providing the necessary infrastructure to support the widespread application of technology to create opportunities and enhance socio-economic growth.”

He added that one of the key pillars of his administration’s agenda was making Lagos a 21st-century economy, noting that a requirement to achieve this goal is technology, especially the availability of efficient and reliable internet service.

Sanwo-Olu, therefore, stated that it is for this reason that his government placed a high premium on the 6000 kilometers of fibre optic cable, aimed at improving access to functional, efficient and affordable internet service.

According to him, a number of private initiatives are already springing up with huge investments that will deliver high speed and efficient internet service.

To realise the Smart City dream, the Governor revealed that the State has recently re-launched its residents’ card, adding that the new residents’ card is an upgraded version of the former ordinary plastic to a smart card with embedded features for multipurpose uses in addition to identification purposes.

He added that in June last year, his administration created a seamless payment system for the multimodal transport system with the launch of Cowry Card, to ensure the digitisation of key government services, processes and procedures to improve efficiency, accountability and transparency.

The governor, however, commended the management of LASIMRA for sustaining a cordial relationship between the State Government and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

He stressed that the relationship and collaboration have cablesbeen of great impact on the State, underscoring the need for good and harmonious cooperation between the Federal and State agencies.

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Autor(en)/Author(s): Abolaji Adebayo

Quelle/Source: New Telegraph, 11.10.2022

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