Stakeholder engagements key to broadband implementation – Danbatta

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L-R: Abubakar Maina, Project Director, Broadband Implementation Steering Committee (BISC); Ubale Maska, Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and Chairman, BISC; Dr. Usman Abdullahi, Director, Information Technology (IT) Infrastructure, National IT Development Agency (NITDA) and Vice-Chairman, BISC; Kelechi Okonta, Managing Director, Zinox Technologies Limited; Ibrahim Dikko, Managing Director, Backbone Connectivity Limited, during the first stakeholder consultation with telecommunication industry players on the implementation of the new national broadband plan held in Abuja on Tuesday (November 3, 202)

The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, has said that government is putting greater emphasis on continuous engagement of different stakeholders secure their buy-in towards achieving the targets of the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP), 2020-2025.

Danbatta stated this at the first stakeholder consultation telecommunication industry players on the implementation of the national broadband plan held at the NCC’s Communications & Digital Complex in Abuja on Tuesday, November 3, 2020.

Represented by NCC’s Executive Commissioner, Technical Services and Chairman, Broadband Implementation Steering Committee (BISC), Engr. Ubale Maska, Danbatta said the Ministry and its agencies, as well as the industry work together towards the attainment of the goals.

At the event, which is the second of the multi-stakeholder consultation process by the BISC, Danbatta noted that the 30 percent broadband targets in the previous NNBP 2013-2018 were met and surpassed due “our collective efforts, policy direction, regulation and financial commitment by industry players.”

He said there were, however, some targets that were not met in the previous plan because of various challenges that are presently being addressed.

“The NNBP 2020-2025 has, once again, identified initiatives be implemented by different stakeholders in order achieve the objectives of the plan. The importance of broadband our Gross Domestic Product (), socio- , and especially the digital , cannot be over-emphasized,” he said.

In his welcome address, the Vice Chairman of BISC, Dr. Usman Abdullahi, said the forum was to avail the industry players and representatives of government a veritable platform to collaborate, and discuss ways to accelerate broadband implementation for sustainable of the telecommunications sector and advancement of the digital .

Project Director, BISC, Abubakar Maina, made a presentation providing information to stakeholders on previous and targets, timelines, milestones, strategic pillars, initiatives in the pillars, as well as governance structure in the broadband plan.

The forum was well attended by industry operators, especially the Infrastructure Companies (InfraCos) both physically and virtually, who gave useful inputs for steering the course of implementation of the broadband plan to .

It would be recalled that unveiled the new broadband plan on March 19 2020, following the of the plan by a committee, set up by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami on December 16, 2019.

As a follow-up, on July 9, 2020, the Minister, inaugurated the BISC, which is primarily saddled the responsibility of ensuring effective monitoring of the implementation of the new broadband plan.