The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), on Monday said that it would issue new telecom spectrum licenses in 2016, to create robust internet infrastructure in all the 36 states in the country.
Prof Umar Danbatta, the Acting Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
He said that the commission was focused on providing a level playing field for all telecom companies and investors to maximise their investments in the sector.
Danbatta said this would increase investments, expand broadband services and drive economic growth and development in the country.
The NCC boss said the overall target was to raise the sector’s contribution to Nigeria’s GDP to 25 per cent from the present 10 per cent.
“We shall continue to provide the enabling environment to attain the prediction of 25 per cent by 2025.
“The commission is currently engaging the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) with a view to removing the barriers to infrastructure deployment such as fibre-optic cables, base transceiver stations (BTS) and others from their states,’’ he said.
It would be recalled that on Oct. 30, Mr. Tony Ojobo, the Director, Public Affairs of the Commission, had said that NCC would roll out programmes to licence more spectrums in 2016.
According to Ojobo: “this will ensure that we have enough pervasive internet penetration to be able to implement policies that will guarantee good operating environment for telecom players.
“Nigeria has an array of telecom licences awaiting auctions from next year; they include the 2.6GHz band and Infrastructure companies (InfraCos) in the five geopolitical zones of the country.
“Others are the 5.4GHz band, 70/80GHz band as well as the 700/800MHz bands that NCC plans to tender to telecom broadband operators.’’
Ojobo said it was possible for the telecom sector to achieve its set target with proper implementation of proactive policies.
“Tax friendly policies should be encouraged and the issue of `Right-of-Way’ needs to be addressed.
“It is our wish that this dream of 25 per cent contribution to the nation’s GDP becomes a reality.
“Our commitment is to oversee the industry with innovative and robust regulatory processes, spiced with transparency, fairness and openness.
“We will work to accomplish the commission’s mandate of providing choice for Nigerian consumers and businesses, gaining the trust of investors and the respect of the international community,’’ he said.
Source: The Nation