The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said on Wednesday that investment in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector has hit 70 billion dollars.
The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta disclosed this while unveiling the Nigeria Pavilion, at the ongoing International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Telecom World 2017 in Busan, South Korea.
According to him, in 16 years since the Digital Mobile Licences (DML) were issued, investment in the sector has hit about $70 billion from a mere $50 million in 2001.
”Most of these investments are Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs).
”Although, we have made very modest progress in the sector, we still need to deepen investments to make broadband pervasive in the country.
”We are at 21 per cent now and our target is to hit 30 per cent by 2018, consistent with the National Broadband Plan,” Danbatta said in a statement made available to NAN.
He said that Nigeria came to the ITU Telecom World every year to tell its story, share its experiences and borrow a leaf from global best practices.
According to him, Nigeria comes to Telecom World to address its concerns, engage and collaborate with the global community to strengthen the growth and impact of the Nigerian Telecoms Industry.
”We, therefore, come to enlist the support of other players, governments, regulators and the global community from whom there is always a basket of ideas to take back home to Nigeria.
”The implementation of these ideas will ensure a better regulatory environment, even though ours has been seen as a very robust and consultative regulatory agency right from 2001, when the Digital Mobile Licences (DML) were issued.
”The spirit of cooperation and consultation is very high at ITU Telecom World events.
”While it is true that different people come with different notions to the event, the end result is to better serve our people.
”The end result is to deploy resources to address access gaps in underserved and unserved communities in our various jurisdictions,” Danbatta said.
He said that NCC’s engagement with the global community during the event was to create awareness of the investment opportunities in Nigeria’s telecommunications market, as well as guarantee of adequate Returns on Investments (RoIs).
Danbatta said that Nigeria, with a population of about 170 million was a preferred investment destination in Africa.
According to him, with over 150 million active subscribers, in the voice segment, over 102 per cent teledensity and a little over 92 million internet connections, Nigeria is indeed a place to invest.
”The ITU/UNESCO Broadband Commission for sustainable development recently said Nigeria now has about 21 per cent broadband penetration.
”And conscious of the reality that broadband fuels faster data transmission speed and capacity, our focus now is on how we can attract the right investments to grow this critical area of the sector through broadband coverage expansion.
”NCC has put in place measures and guidelines to licence wholesale broadband service providers consistent with the Open Access Model for broadband deployment.
”Of the seven infrastructure companies (Infracos) earmarked for licensing, only two have so far been licensed for Lagos and Abuja.
”The process of licensing of infracos for the five remaining zones is about to be concluded,” he said.