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Internet Subscriptions Has Grown From 126 Million In 2019 To 147.1 Million Subscribers In 2020 – Danbatta

The Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of the Nigeria Communication Commission, Prof Umar Garba Danbatta has said that Internet subscriptions in Nigeria has grown from 126 Million in December 2019 to 147.1 Million subscribers as at May 2020.

Danbatta made this known on Tuesday at the presentation of Grants to Winners of Digital Solutions to COVID19 held virtually at the NCC Headquarters, Abuja.

He reiterated that the number of active subscribers in Nigeria has continued to rise as the figures of the last eight months show increases from 184 Million in December 2019 to 199.3 Million in May 2020.

“Internet subscriptions in the same period has grown from 126 Million subscribers to 147.1 Million, while broadband subscription has improved from 72 Million to 80.2 million, achieving a 42.02% penetration in the country.

“These may have given impetus to the possibility of holding virtual meetings and conferences on video technologies that are now providing social distancing solutions

We are delighted that you have joined us today at an occasion designed to reward hard work and innovation in the Nigerian ICT industry.

While thanking the the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami, whose ideas and vision, spurred the NCC to engage in what has become a celebration, Danbatta said it was the Minister’s challenge to the Commission, to evolve a digital solution to the current Covid-19 pandemic which has continued to terrorize the entire humanity.

“This challenge is not misplaced, given that it is in tandem with the 8-pillars of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy 2020-2030, with the Honorable Minister as the Pilot. We considered the challenge to find a local content solution to the pandemic as fillip to our strategic designs as contemplated in our 8-Point Agenda, which, incidentally, aligns with the 8-pillars of the NDEPS 2020, Danbatta said.

He further reiterated that the entire globe is challenged about how best to tackle the COVID19 pandemic.

“Telecommunications/ICTs have taken the centre stage in the provision, or advancement of solutions. In the quest of the International Finance Corporation, IFC, to appraise the impact or role that telecommunications/ICTs plays in addressing this COVID-19 pandemic, IFC noted that more than any other event in human history, the critical importance that telecommunications infrastructure plays in keeping businesses, governments, and societies connected and running as the economic and social disruptions caused by the pandemic have made people across the globe to rely on technology for information, for social distancing, and working from home. Working from home has become a new normal made possible by ICTs. Innovations in telecommunications has to a large extent, provided the best link for humanity to share available solutions in navigating the challenges of the pandemic.

He said that the reason why the number of uptakes in different types of telecommunications services has continued to rise in spite of lockdowns and restrictions occasioned by the pandemic. impetus to the possibility of holding virtual meetings and conferences on video technologies that are now providing social distancing solutions.

“So, in whichever way we look at it, telecommunications has much more greater role to play than many other sectors of economy and the society. Therefore, the challenge to us to find a way to accentuate our local content solution is a blessing. We are pleased with the responses that we received on this initiative.

“The Hackathon is expected to throw up innovative and adaptable solutions that will address the present and future impacts of Pandemics and Epidemic diseases in Nigeria focusing on five (5) thematic areas namely Health, Community, Productivity, Economy and Education.

Danbatta further said that in inviting submissions for the innovative digital solution to Covid-19 pandemic, the NCC sought novel ideas/solution to address the needs of health workers and other frontline health professionals including individuals in isolation centres; provide help for relevant agencies involved in tracking and tracing the spread of the virus as well as support or facilitation of other preventive measures.

“We will all witness what digital solutions that today’s winners are going to bring to the table. Each of the Startups, or tech-hubs with promising innovative digital solutions against the pandemic will receive a grant of N3M (Three Million Naira Only).

“Today’s event is by no means the first of its kind. We have encouraged ICT innovations among the Nigerian youths whom we have regularly sponsored to the various competitions organized by the International Telecommunications Union. The Commission, has in the past two years managed similar ICT-based innovations and research competitions among the tertiary institutions in the country, with potentials to improving on our local content solutions in the industry.

Danbatta also used the occasion to say the NCC has established the Department of Digital Economy in the Commission to coordinate all aspects of its responsibilities and mandate towards realizing the objectives of the important programme initiated and driven by the Dr Pantami for the benefit of Nigeria.

In his brief remarks, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Pantami said: “we need to produce what we need and consume what we produce, any country that remains a consumer will find it difficult to succeed”.

The Honourable Minister stressed that there is a need for us as a country to be bold enough in adopting indigenous solutions, consuming them and paying less attention to imported goods.

The Winners of the program are; Messers Primed E-Health; Messers Cyberfleet Integrated Limited and Messers Elizade University

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