Professor Umar Danbatta, the Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), revealed that Nigeria is one of the countries to benefit from a £1.2 billion intervention fund earmarked by the British Government to help facilitate people’s access to communication.
The vice chairman made this disclosure after a meeting in Abuja with some delegates from the British Government’s Department of Foreign and International Development. The meeting was organised for the parties involved to agree on the procedures necessary to execute the deal.
According to Danbatta, the deal, which includes digital inclusion, cybersecurity and capacity building, will ultimately ensure that jobs are created and prosperity is actualised.
He said “this delegation is here to explore how the UK Government can channel a significant intervention to the tune of £1.2 billion to create wealth and prosperity in selected countries around the world. This creation of prosperity will leverage the power of ICT to provide access to un-served and underserved areas in the country. The intervention is also on cybersecurity and capacity building, three key areas”.
During the meeting, the British Government officials were told that Nigeria has some two hundred “access gaps”, which the NCC is working to address within a two year period.
Danbatta believes the use of rural technology will facilitate this assignment. He said “with the right rural technology solution, we can do it faster because, at the rate we are plugging the gaps, it will take us about 20 years to conclude”.
As a result of the implementation of good regulations, the communication sector in Nigeria is one of the fastest growing sectors, thanks to the success of telecom companies such MTN, Glo, Airtel and 9mobile. However, the lack of adequate infrastructure has been one of the sector’s greatest challenges. Danbatta hopes that with this investment, the challenges can be addressed.