Umar Danbatta, the executive vice-chairman, Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), says telecoms investment inflow grew from $38 billion to $77 billion by the second quarter of 2023.
Mr Danbatta, who spoke in Kano on Saturday at a media parley, revealed that the sector had contributed 16 per cent to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) within the period under review.
He said the statistics by the NCC were based on the computation by the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
He said, “From about eight per cent contribution to GDP in 2015, when I came on board as the EVC of NCC, quarterly GDP has increased significantly to reach its current threshold of 16 per cent.
“And this has continued to positively impact all aspects of the economy.”
Mr Danbatta, however, attributed the success to “thorough sustained regulatory excellence and operational efficiency by the commission”, adding that the industry has grown in leaps and bounds over the past two decades.
He said telephone users in Nigeria had hit 218.9 million, internet subscribers 159.5 million, while broadband users now are 88.7 million within the period under review.
Mr Danbatta listed Right of Way (RoW), fibre cuts, high capital requirement for deployment, multiple taxations, and regulations as barriers to broadband deployment in the country.
The EVC, however, assured that the NCC would “navigate regulatory complexities, digital divide and literacy to tackle the challenges”.
He said the commission would establish an emergency communication centre in each state and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
The NCC official explained that the commission had increased the amount of research grants being given to universities from N20 million to N30 million. He said three universities had benefitted from the new grant.
The vice-chairman pointed out that other major challenges confronting the commission included wilful destruction of its facilities and the number of taxes imposed on telecommunication companies.
He said the commission would continue to engage stakeholders in the media industry to keep members of the public abreast of its activities.