By Etuka Sunday
The Executive Vice – Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta has reiterated the unflinching commitment of the Commission towards delivering on its mandate of ensuring the effective regulation of the telecommunications sector for the good of all Nigerians.
Prof. Danbatta stated this in his welcome address on the tripartite occasion of the commissioning of the Communications and Digital Economy Complex, launching of the Emergency Communications Center (ECC) and the 112 toll-free number as well as the unveiling of the National Broadband Plan 2020-2025 in Abuja.
He said: “the launch of these projects is a reflection of the growth and development of the ICT sector which commenced with the National Telecom Policy and the full liberalization of the telecommunications industry.”
The NCC boss intimated that the commission has also facilitated the establishment of the Emergency Communications Centers across the country, in line with the Commission’s mandate under section 107 of NCA 2003, to promote and enhance public safety through the use of a particular number designed as the universal safety and emergency assistance number for telephone services generally, and to encourage and facilitate the prompt deployment of seamless, ubiquitous and reliable end-to-end infrastructure for emergency communications needs.
Consequently, he said, the NCC allocated the toll-free 3-digit number 112 as the Universal Emergency Communications telephone number in Nigeria, through which the public can conveniently access help when in distress from any of the networks at no cost.
On the launch of the National Broadband Plan 2020-2025, he said that broadband penetration at the start of the present government in 2015 was only 6%, but today stands at 38.49%, with high chances of rapid increase in the coming years.
Underscoring the importance of broadband penetration in economic development, he said it is the main medium through which ICTs can be networked to create jobs and provide efficiency to support government and businesses, and is the key to the efficiency of the ECC and the development of digital innovation.
He expressed the Commission’s expectation that all the commissioned projects would be put to maximum use to support the economic growth of Nigeria.