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More Africa NewsNigeria: 2 years after obtaining operating licenses, infrastructure operators are desired

January 27, 2021by myles0

By 2025, the government of Nigeria wants to see the country enjoy a broadband penetration rate of 70%. The success of the national digital transformation depends on it. It is becoming urgent for infrastructure companies to come out of their torpor.

In 2018, the Communications Commission of Nigeria (NCC) licensed six telecom infrastructure companies including MainOne Cable, IHS, Zinox Technology and Brinks Solutions. But two years later, they still do not operate at full capacity in this segment, as expected by the telecoms regulator. A situation which somewhat hinders the objectives of improving the broadband penetration rate in the country.

In October 2020, during the review of the framework for granting licenses to infrastructure companies (InfraCos), Umar Garba Danbatta, the executive vice-president of the NCC, again stressed that “ the InfraCo project is dear to the government for its ability to enhance a robust and ubiquitous broadband infrastructure to increase the availability, accessibility and affordability of services ”.

Nigeria, which adopted a new national broadband plan in 2020, more than needs the InfraCos to wake up to accelerate the development of the network. The country has set a goal of achieving a broadband penetration rate of 70% by 2025 to accelerate its digital transformation.

According to Umar Garba Danbatta, who spoke on Thursday, January 21, the broadband penetration rate was already 45.07% in November 2020 for 154.9 million Internet subscribers, thanks to the deployment of 54,725 km of fiber optics across the country over the past five years. For the boss of the NCC, this penetration rate should increase further when the licensed infrastructure companies – which must deploy an additional 38,296 km of optical fiber – begin to operate fully.

According to the World Bank, for developing countries, a growth in broadband penetration rate of 10% has an impact of 1.38% on gross domestic product. By increasing its population’s access to broadband, Nigeria will acquire a new asset to consolidate its position as Africa’s leading economic power.

Source: Agence Ecofin

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