Vox Media

About two decades after the telecoms revolution, over 40 million Nigerians are still unable to access to telecoms services, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said on Wednesday.

Its Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Garba Dambatta, blamed this on the refusal of telcos to spread their services into the rural areas.

Dambatta, however, stressed the need for a paradigm shift in the communication sector in order to find solution to the challenges in the industry as globalisation has taken over.

Dambatta who spoke at Emerging Technologies Consultative and ICT Innovation Forum for Northwest in Kano said: “We are addressing this deficit in two ways. One is to address the infrastructural deficit in the long term. In the short term, we need to deploy more and base transiver stations. At the main time, the base transiver stations are stations are about 58, 000; and that is not enough for a population of about 190 million.

“At an average of 10 base transiver stations per year, it going to take this country 20 years to bridge the gaps and bring telecoms services to people living in the rural areas. People living in the rural areas don’t have the patience to wait for 20 years. So, we are looking at rural technology solutions that can bridge the gap in two years. This is ongoing.”

According to him, NCC is driving the local content, using the information communication technology (ICT) eco system with the resources available such as infrastructure, technology facilities, human intelligence to improve the economy, adding that, ‘if those infrastructures are available, they can now be used to drive wealth for the 40 million Nigerians who are not benefitting from such services.’

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