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Broadband infrastructure crucial to economic growth — NCC

The Executive Vice-Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Prof Umar Danbatta, says extensive broadband infrastructure across the country has the capacity to improve economic growth.

Danbatta, who was represented at the fourth Nigeria Innovation Summit in Lagos by the Director, Research and Development, NCC, Mr Ephraim Nwokenneya, said that the telecoms infrastructure deployment had become a major concern of governments globally due to the recognition on its importance.

According to him, innovation will not thrive without the available telecom infrastructure.

“If we follow the recent happenings across the globe including in the United States, we will find out that infrastructure is receiving attention at the highest level of government in developed economies and this is because any nation that wants to develop must do this in a digitally-enabled framework,” he said.

Danbatta said the industry had achieved 33.31 per cent broadband penetration, with over 63.5 million Internet connections to 3G and 4G broadband networks.

In order for Nigeria not to end up becoming an irrelevant economy, he emphasised the need to bridge the gaps in digital infrastructure.

In another development, the African Telecommunications Union has asked operators and regulators in the industry to check the rise in cybercrime on the continent.

Secretary General of the ATU, John Omo, made the call at the opening session of the Conference of African Telecommunications Regulators on Consumer Affairs in Abuja on Tuesday.

Addressing delegates from about 12 African countries at the CATCO conference in Abuja, Omo said regulators and operators should place more emphasis on curbing cyberattacks.

“Emphasis should be placed on the security of our systems – cyberattacks are being experienced in most of our networks,” he said.

The ATU scribe said the regional telecom body would work with the operators and regulators to ensure the security of telecoms systems in the continent.

In the same vein, President Muhammadu Buhari, in an address read on his behalf by an official in the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, who represented the SGF, Mr Boss Mustapha, also expressed concern over the rise in cybercrimes.

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