In a keynote address with the theme : "The Internet We Want and the Role of the Regulator”, at a social media summit in Kano yesterday, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, said the Internet is a powerful tool for citizen engagement for any nation towards achieving greater socio-political and economic posterity in a country.
The Summit, organised by the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) and its partners, was essentially to reflect on the usefulness and influence of social media in the current Internet-dependent society.
Danbatta stated that as the agency saddled with the responsibility of driving digital transformation and revolution in Nigeria, the NCC has ultimately deepened access to digital tools and services that are available to most Nigerians.
"With increased access to the Internet and more importantly, broadband, many telecom consumers can engage and be engaged, especially through social media platforms accessible on their various Internet-enabled mobile devices," he said.
The EVC stressed that the core role of the Commission is to ensure widespread access to digital services, riding on Internet platform through ensuring availability, accessibility and affordability of telecom services in rural, underserved and unserved areas of the country, the role which, he said, the Commission has been delivering diligently.
He stated the Commission is focused on achieving what he referred to as 'the Internet of Relevance (IoR)' which speaks to the utilitarian value of the Internet to bring efficiency and effectiveness into different sectors of the economy inluding healthcare, commerce education, agriculture, politics among others.
Danbatta, noted that the Commission conceptualised the 8-Point Agenda upon his assumption of office as the EVC/CEO of NCC in 2015 in order to further facilitate Broadband penetration among others.
He also informed participants at the Summit that regarding the National Broadband Plan target of 30 per cent penetration set for the country for 2018, not only did the Commission achieve and surpass the 30 per cent Broadband penetration target, it has continued to deepen the penetration further, hitting 33.31 per cent as at June, this year.
"In this regards, we have issued six Infrastructure Companies (InfraCo) licences across geo-political zones with the seventh one being processed for Lagos alone being the hub of ICT in order to provide Access Points in the 774 local government areas of the country," Danbatta, said "We enjoin Nigerians to use this pervasive Internet access the regulator is promoting for utilitarian purposes."