The Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has set up a committee to review the framework for the licensing of the current Infrastructure Companies (InfraCo) and the creation of sustainable funding options.
The committee is tasked with resolving the challenges facing the InfraCo project, the need for accelerated deployment of fibre infrastructure, means of mitigating exorbitant RoW charges, amongst others.
This disclosure was made by NCC in a press release, which was signed by Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, the Commission’s Director of Public Affairs.
NCC disclosed that the Committee has met with all the six licensed Infrastructure Companies for the six geopolitical zones in the country, as well as the preferred bidder for the North Central zone.
What you should know
- The constitution of the committee is in line with the requirements of the new Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP 2020-2025) and reports to the committees set up by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
- The committees include the Inter-Ministerial Review Committee on Multiple Taxation on Telecommunications Operators over Right-of-Way (RoW) and the Technical Sub-Committee on Right-of-Way for Deepening Broadband Penetration in Nigeria.
- The committee set-up by NCC is expected to collaborate with the Broadband Implementation Steering Committee (BISC), as constituted by the Hon. Minister of Communications and Digital Economy based on the recommendations and requirements of the NNBP 2020-2025.
What they are saying
While providing updates on the development, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta said,
“The InfraCo project is dear to the government, because of its ability to enhance robust and pervasive broadband infrastructure to drive service availability, accessibility, and affordability.
“We are keen on ensuring the project delivers maximum benefits for the economy at large, which is why the ongoing review is very critical to the overall success of the project, in line with the new realities of the time.”
The EVC clarified that the current status of the InfraCo project, as provided above, is contrary to reports suggesting that the Commission is inching towards executing the counterpart funding in respect of the project.
What to expect
- The new committee will address the structural rigidities which InfraCo grapples with, including supply chain disruption and other challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the change in the exchange rate.
- In the same vein, the committee will address the InfraCo licensing framework. It will also address the delays in the take-off of their respective projects, by creating sustainable funding options for the companies.
The new committee will ensure the InfraCo project yield maximum benefit for the economy, as this will put the commission on the path of deepening broadband penetration in the country via a robust infrastructure.