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Thursday, March 11, 2021

Broadband’s massive role to play in accelerating financial inclusion - ITREALMS

ITREALMS ... making leadership SENSE with digital news!

To achieve an accelerated financial inclusion target desirable in Nigeria, broadband has massive role to play, reports ITREALMS.
The Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta made this assertion at the 2021 The Bullion Lecture held in Lagos, on the theme: Pervasive Broadband Drive and Digital Financial Inclusion.

Danbatta who delivered his lecture virtually, said “I see technology doing in terms of Nigeria’s financial inclusion is actually to democratize access.”

In doing the above, he noted that NCC embarked on various regulatory initiatives that have continued to increase access to telephone lines and improve access to high-speed Internet or broadband.

This, he told ITREALMS, is in line with the Commission’s mandate of ensuring universal access to telecoms services in the country consistent with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU’s) goal of achieving digital inclusion, globally.

The EVC pointed out that foremost amongst these regulatory initiatives, is the implementation of the Open Access Model for infrastructure deployment through the competitively selected Infrastructure Companies (InfraCos Project).

“The InfraCo initiative is expected to provide, at a minimum, broadband fibre and connectivity to every Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the Federation, totaling 774 fibre Points of Access (PoAs) with a minimum speed of 10 Gbps which will translate to, at least, 38,296km of Optic Fibre Cable (OFC) to the Transmission over the next years,” he said.

According to him, “So far, the Commission has licensed six of the seven InfraCos to implement this project and it is intended that the presence of fibre point of access in each LGA will not only spur development, lower cost of entry for telcos and bring about innovative services and applications, but also, improve the conditions of living in the rural, urban and semi-urban areas, especially with respect to access to financial services.”

The InfraCo Project, Danbatta revealed could be considered as the beginning of the “Next Level” journey towards achieving the 120,000km target of fibre connectivity set by the current administration.

“We have recently begun a process to strategically review the InfraCo framework and its funding options towards ensuring effective implementation of the national fibre project,” he said.

When fully implemented, EVC said, “it will ensure robust and pervasive broadband infrastructure to drive availability, accessibility and affordability of financial services.”

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