Internet subscribers in Nigeria, have increased from 90 million in 2015 to 123.5 million by October, 2019 while broadband penetration jumped from 8 percent to its current 37.87 percent, indicating a total of 72,289,389 Nigerian access data services on 3G and 4G networks.
In a report made available to BizAfricaDaily, it is quite evident that from August 2015 till date, the industry has recorded impressive growth statistics, pointing to the effective regulatory environment created by the Commission. Today, telecoms contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) increased from 8.50 percent in August 2015 to 11.39 percent as at October, 2019. Active mobile voice subscribers increased from 151,018,624 to 2015 to 180,386,316 during the same period while teledensity increased to 94.50 percent following its rebasing in early 2019.
Also, the number of subscriptions to Mobile Number Portability (MNP) service increased from 385, 617 in August 2015 to 1, 206,874 by October, 2019. This is attributable to increased public enlightenment by the Commission’s head office and its zonal offices across geo-political zones on the on the availability and usage of MNP.
Similarly, the total number of telecoms subscribers that have subscribed either partially or fully to the Do-Not-Disturb (DND) service introduced by the Commission – to curb cases of unsolicited text messages – increased from level zero to 22,356, 919 currently.
This is attributed to the fact that the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta hit the ground running by unveiling his 8-Point Agenda, which was designed to provide a focus for the Commission and the industry as a whole over the next five years from 2015.
Focal issues on the agenda include facilitating broadband penetration, improving quality service, optimizing usage and benefits of spectrum, promoting ICT innovation and investment opportunities, facilitating strategic collaboration and partnership, protecting and empowering consumers, promoting fair competition and inclusive growth as well as ensuring regulatory excellence and operational efficiency.
Precisely on August 4, 2015, Danbatta was appointed by the President and subsequently confirmed by the Senate on November 25, 2015 in line with the provision of the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA), 2003, following thorough and rigorous screening by the Senator Gilbert Nnaji-led Communications Committee of the Senate.
Danbatta’s job as the umpire of the telecoms industry was affirmed for a five-year tenue in the first instance, as stipulated in the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA), 2003. It is evident, four years and few months into the five-year term, Danbatta has left nobody in doubt about his competence as a regulator per excellence, having continued to provide the right and leadership at NCC.
On assumption of office at the NCC’s architectural masterpiece headquarters located in Maitama District, Abuja, the former University Don began to effectively confront many challenges bedeviling the industry to enhance the development of a knowledge-driven, inclusive, globally-competitive and prosperous Nigeria through telecommunications.
In retrospect, his actions have contributed largely to the vast development of the Nigerian telecommunications sector.