The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has given the rationale behind the withdrawal of 36 million redundant lines of subscribers which it said will be reassigned to consumers who can put it to active use.
Speaking to journalists on the sideline of the 84th edition of Telecom Consumer Parliament (TCP) in Abuja, the executive vice chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, said the move was to give room for effective management of telecom facilities.
He said: “We do not have time to allow resources to waste. The intention is to ensure that all resources at our disposal, number resources, spectrum resources are put into good use and benefit of this country. Those are lines that are redundant. We always give statistics about active lines. We have noticed that the teledensity is growing, steadily growing for 6-7 months and has exceeded 150 million mark now.
“It is expected of NCC that resources that are not being put into use are withdrawn so that this can in turn be a sign to all operators so that they can put them in good use and activate them.”
Danbatta also said the NCC was doing everything possible to bridge the 198-telecom access gap which translates to about 40 million people especially those in rural areas not having access to mobile phone usage.
According to him, NCC in conjunction with industrial players is deploying a modern technology solution in three locations to tackle the problem headlong instead of following the present mechanism which would take over 20 years to achieve.
He said NCC besides approving a wide range of palliatives to improve availability, accessibility, and affordability of telecom services to consumers, had gone some step further to partner with some stakeholders on the deployment infrastructures for the good of the industry.
“The NCC in partnership with stakeholders deployed base transceivers to stations in those areas that do not have access in order to bridge access gaps. We are doing this at the rate of about 10 per annum, and going by the number of access gaps, it is going to take the NCC close to 20 years to close all access gaps,” he added.
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