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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

USPF reduces access gap by 2% in two years

The Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) has reduced the access gap in Nigeria by two per cent within the last two years, reports ITRealms.

Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta disclosed this at a one-day USPF ‘Focused Industry Stakeholders’ Forum and Hackathon Award at the Eko Hotel, Lagos, last weekend.

Danbatta explained that USFPF has facilitated the reduction from 36.8 million (24.5 per cent) in 2013 to 33.7 million (22.5 per cent) in 2015 based on the Access Gap study and using the 150 million population benchmark.

The event which theme this year was 'Universal Access: Eliminating the Inclusion Barriers' also saw EVC reiterating that USPF, which is an arm of the Commission, would play significant role in the facilitation of broadband penetration; improve quality of service; promote ICT innovations and investment opportunities and facilitate strategic collaboration and partnership.

Prof. Danbatta also spoke on the serious need to look at Federal and State policies that are not friendly to the deployment of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) infrastructure in the country.

He lamented the current level of the ICT infrastructure in the country, saying that it has led to limited development.

The Commission, he further disclosed, plans to issue licences to Infracos to cover the five remaining geo-political zones in Nigeria namely: South West, South, South East, North East and North West.

“Already, North Central and Lagos zones have been awarded Infraco licences to IHS and Main One Cable company,” he said..

ITRealms recalls that the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) was established within the Nigerian Communications Commission by the Federal Government of Nigeria to facilitate the achievement of national policy goals for universal access and universal service to information and communication technologies (ICTs) in rural, un-served and under-served Nigeria’s communities.

Nenye Dom/GEE
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