35m Nigerians Still Lack Communication Access- NCC


35m Nigerians Still Lack Communication Access -NCC
By Paul Aroso

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says the number of Nigerians in rural communities in dire need of communication access is now 35 million.
And that it would take another four years to bridge the access gaps in the country.
The Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Prof Umar Garba Danbatta made this known at the 84th Telecom Consumer Parliament in Abuja recently.
With rural technology solution and necessary palliative measures for telecommunications companies,he stated that the number of Nigerians in rural communities lacking access had dropped from 40 to 35 million.
“The NCC in partnership with stakeholders deployed base transmitter stations in those places (rural) to bridge access gaps.
“We are doing it at the rate of 10 per annum and going by the number of access gaps, it is going to take the NCC close to 20 years to bridge all access gaps. The rural population does not have time to wait, they are not going to be patient for twenty years. Therefore, there is need to find ingenious ways of bridging these gaps. We need a shorter period of time.
“Technology, fortunately, presents itself to solving this problem in a shorter time.  We are happy with rural technology solution through which we have deployed in the pilot scheme in about three locations in the country.
“We want to reciprocate the deployment beyond the pilot so we can cure about twenty of those access gaps to see what happens. But from my estimation, through the introduction of these technology [we can] bridge the gaps in about three to four years”. Adding that when bridging gaps one needs to have spectrum and these spectrum belongs to the operators.
“We are leveraging this important resource by facilitating a kind of partnership with the owner of the solution with the operators and the NCC is right there to ensure that the partnership is effective with the necessary palliative in place.”