The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, and the Executive Vice President (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Umar Danbatta, pledged to continue spearheading policy initiatives that promote infrastructure investment in the Nigerian telecommunications industry to deepen connectivity to enhance the growth and development of the country.
The duo said so during the reception marking the landing of the Equiano submarine cable system in Nigeria at Lekki’s Open Access Data Center in Lagos. Mr. Pantami and Danbatta praised Google LLC, the West Indian Ocean Cable Company (WIOCC) and other investors for bringing additional bandwidth capacity into the country to spur connectivity and growth.
While Mr. Pantami was represented at the event by NCC Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, Adeleke Adewolu, Mr. Danbatta was represented by NCC Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, Ubale Maska.
Other senior Commission officials present at the event included NCC Director, Technical Standards and Network Integrity, Bako Wakil, and NCC Ibadan Area Office Comptroller, Yomi Arowosafe.
The minister said that the federal government, through the department, will continue to lead the implementation of existing policies focused on the digital economy already put in place by the current administration. Mr. Pantami also promised an enabling environment that encourages foreign and local investment in infrastructure projects, as Google and its co-investors have done.
Also commenting, Mr. Danbatta said that the Commission’s expectations, initiatives and vision for increasing broadband penetration, quality of service, advancing a digital economy and The commitment to improving national security through technological advancements is on the priority list of its regulatory interventions.
Mr. Danbatta said he was delighted that Equiano had joined the list of other submarine cables on the coasts of Nigeria, including SAT3 cable, MainOne cable, Glo1 cable, ACE cable, WACS cable, Dolphin by Natcom and MTN respectively.
The EVC assured stakeholders of the Commission’s commitment to ensure that the huge bandwidth capacity of these onshore cables in Lagos would be transmitted to different parts of the country to drive a robust and ubiquitous infrastructure. This is in line with the provisions of the digital economy policy implemented by the government in collaboration with all stakeholders.
EVC expressed optimism that Google’s investment in the submarine cable, Equiano, will play an important role in NCC’s ongoing implementation of the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP) 2020 -2025, which aims to increase broadband penetration to 70% by 2025.
“We hope that Equiano, along with the country’s earlier submarine cables, will have additional hinterland landing points through collaborative efforts with NCC-licensed infrastructure companies (InfraCos). This will help to significantly reduce retail data prices and thus complement the Commission’s efforts to ensure affordable internet services are available to boost the Commission’s ongoing broadband policy initiatives,” said Mr. Danbatta and thus helped to reiterate the objective links of policies and plans in the ecosystem and national economic strategies.
Meanwhile, Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who also attended the unveiling of Google’s undersea cable, highlighted its pivotal role in Nigeria’s continued efforts to boost job creation. and the contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) over the next three years. years.
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WIOCC Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chris Wood, also described the landing of the undersea cables as a major investment in Nigeria’s digital economy.
The new cable system is named after a Nigerian hero, Olaudah Equiano, who survived slavery in the 18th century and became a famous writer and anti-slavery activist. Besides the triumph over challenges, which Equiano’s life symbolized, the cable landing in Nigeria should underscore Nigeria’s leadership as a regional connectivity hub, and thus, poised to attract cloud operators, content providers, content delivery networks and their associated ecosystems. .
Dr Ikechukwu Adinde
Director, Public Affairs
April 23, 2022
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