The Nigerian Communications Commission(NCC) has harped on the importance of internet connectivity to boost Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria, while reiterating its commitment to meeting the target of 70 per cent broadband penetration by 2025.
The executive vice chairman of the NCC, Dr Aminu Maida, who made the pledge during the NCC Day at the ongoing Lagos International Trade fair, noted that telecommunications industry plays a pivotal role in driving economic growth, fostering innovation, and enhancing the quality of life for citizens in Nigeria, while disclosing that the Commission is putting all structures in place to achieving the target of boosting Nigeria’s broadband penetration rate to 70 per cent by the end of 2025.
“We are also targeting that coverage is provided to at least 80 per cent of the country’s population, especially the underserved and unserved populations by the end of 2027,” Maida affirmed.
Maida who was represented by the director of Public Affairs of the NCC, Mr Reuben Muoka posited that the telecommunications sector has been a strategic driver of the digital economy agenda of the federal government, while stressing that, “We bear the responsibility of ensuring the sustainability and vitality of the sector by leveraging telecommunications infrastructure to empower individuals, connects businesses, strengthen industries and enable Governments to provide essential services efficiently thereby driving development and prosperity.”
He claimed that the Minister of Communication, Innovation, and Digital Economy’s Infrastructure Pillar is connected to creating an environment that is supportive of the implementation of essential digital infrastructure, adding that it is not enough to simply offer quicker and more dependable connections, the telecoms industry must also promote an atmosphere of fair competition, innovation, and diversity in order to create value.
“This means that we must encourage investment in infrastructure, stimulate research and development, and protect consumers’ interests. By doing so, we can unlock the full potential of our businesses, boost productivity, and ultimately create a more prosperous society. Our regulatory approach is designed to address the ever-evolving landscape of technology. As 5G, IoT, and other innovations become integral to business operations, we are proactive in adapting our policies to support their integration and protect the interests of all stakeholders,” he further explained.
Earlier in his welcome address, the president of the Lagos International Trade Fair organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Mr Michael Olawale-Cole noted the level of telecommunications infrastructure for boosting the Nigerian economy, and applauded the NCC 70 percent broadband target of 2025 as well as the 80 percent coverage of Nigeria by 2027.