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NCC Explains Delay in 5G Deployment

Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, executive vice-chairman (EVC), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has said that the country is exploring the potential benefits as well as the health implications of deploying the Fifth Generation (5G), network.

He stated this in his keynote address at the 2020 Virtual Nigeria Innovation Summit held in Abuja.

The EVC was represented at the event by Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, director, Public Affairs, NCC, who delivered the keynote address.

He added that “The socio-economic benefits of the expansion in telecommunications infrastructure embarked upon by the Commission would be of immense benefit to the country, especially with the rollout of the 5G technology which is currently being tested in about forty (40) countries.

“This will be a significant upgrade for networks and will be the backbone for the future ICT industry post-pandemic recovery.

The event had the theme, ‘Innovating in Critical Times” which the EVC said he found very relevant in view of the numerous challenges that the pandemic has thrown at national Governments, the ICT community, and the health sector in particular.

He emphasized that nations that plan to succeed must have well-articulated policies in place to ensure the safety and security of its citizens.

The EVC, however, acknowledged that the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the frailties of even the most advanced nations.

“Together with our stakeholders from the banking sector, the NCC is actively involved in the application of various electronic portals that continue to drive transactions off the banking floor and onto handheld devices or personal computers.

“The NCC, through its interventions, has continued to lift the Nigerian economy and create momentum and hope for financial inclusion based on the seamless implementation of the Commission’s Strategic Vision Plan.

“It is pertinent, at this juncture, to note that NCC’s Emergency Communication Centers (ECC) have been crucial in the Federal Government’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, with over 1,209 COVID-19-related calls made between March and June 2020 from the nineteen (19) ECCs across the country. The establishment of the ECCs by the Commission across the nation was borne out of the need to safeguard all Nigerians irrespective of their geographical locations.

“The Nigerian Government, through the Federal Ministry of Health, has been putting measures in place to ensure the Coronavirus disease is controlled and quickly contained.

“Nigeria’s multi-sectoral Coronavirus Preparedness Group led by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) activated its National Emergency Operations Centre and swiftly swung into action with State governments to contain the spread of the outbreak around the country.

“There are lessons to be learned from the current pandemic, the most important of which is the need to continue to invest in infrastructure development in critical sectors of the economy, particularly the ICT sector, which has become the bastion of modern economies.

“We hope to reap the rewards of the Strategic Vision Plan (SVP) in the coming years and provide Nigerians the comfort of new innovations and new ways of living.

“This would imply that broadband penetration would be improved significantly through deliberate facilitation of investment in fiber infrastructure, QoS will be assured, the available spectrum would be optimized with full benefits, there would be more investment opportunities in the industry, there will be access to strategic collaboration and partnerships, consumers would be fully protected and empowered, there will be fair competition and inclusive growth.

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