Nigeria needs over 120,000 kilometers of fibre network to boost broadband – Danbatta

To achieve its goal of pervasive broadband penetration, Nigeria needs over 120,000 kilo meters (km)of metropolitan fibre networks interconnected across the country, Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said.

Danbatta disclosed this last weekend while speaking in Abuja to a delegation from Nigeria Industrial Policy and Competitiveness Advisory Council, led by Edirin Akemu last weekend.

The EVC disclosed that only 38,000 km have currently been covered in Nigeria.

Speaking further, Danbatta therefore called on the Federal Government to ensure that all the 36 states governments of the federation adhere to the resolution of National Economic Council on the Right of Way charges (RoW), which stipulates N145 per meter for laying fibre network in every part of the country.

“The Right of Way issue is something that refuses to go away despite the existence of a document guiding what should be charged.  Currently nobody is complying with the provision of that document, “he said.

“We cannot compel the state governments to charge N 145 per meter for fibre. The Federal Government can, however, meet with the governors and extract a commitment from them, to ensure that NEC’s provision is strictly adhered to,” he further noted.

The EVC also called for more Information and Communications Technology (ICT) capacity building in the country in order to fully take advantage of the digital transformation that is taking place in the world.

He argued that while Nigeria strives to build the needed ICT infrastructure, the efforts will be in vain “if there is no critical mass of ICT adoption and use to drive the digital revolution”.

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