The executive vice chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Professor Umar Danbatta, yesterday said that with the outbreak of the COVID-19, ICT became the major backbone for government activities and local businesses.
He said the most important lesson to be learnt from the current pandemic was the need to continue to invest in infrastructure development in critical sectors of the econo- my, particularly the ICT sector, which has become the bastion of modern economies.
Danbatta who spoke at the 2020 Nigeria Innovation Week with the theme: ‘Innovating in Critical Times” which held vir- tually, said for innovation to thrive as the anchor for accel- erating economic growth post COVID-19, a robust broadband infrastructure upon which ICT innovations will ride, is a necessity and an urgent one at that.
The EVC who was represented by the director, Public Affairs, NCC, Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, said the Commission placed emphasis on broadband to drive innovation, and hopes to take broadband penetration to 70 per cent by 2025 in line with the new target in the Nige- rian National Broadband Plan (NBBP), 2020-2025.
“Through effective regulatory efforts, the NCC has been able to deepen connectivity in the country. Under my stewardship at the Commission, we realised that infrastructure gaps existed around the country im- pairing networks performance, and leading to poor quality of service.
“With the steady increase in telecom subscribers, the Commission decided that a robust telecom/ICT infrastructure was needed to meet up with growing demands for improved Quality of Service.