The new Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Aminu Maida, assumed office on Tuesday with a promise to focus on ensuring that all Nigerians have access to affordable and reliable broadband internet services.
According to a statement released on Wednesday by the Commission’s Director of Public Affairs, Reuben Muoka, the new NCC boss told the Senior Management team of the NCC that he would align the Commission’s regulatory focus to achieve the promises of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Renewed Hope agenda to advance the nation’s digital transformation agenda.
He noted that the NCC under his leadership would ensure “effective broadband infrastructure diffusion across the length and breadth of Nigeria.”
The new telecom regulator was said to have paid tributes to former chief executives of the Commission for their laudable role in building a resilient telecoms industry.
Dr. Maida said the pursuit of improved quality of service on the networks will be one of his priorities, as well as supporting the vision of the Federal Government and the Ministry of Communications, Innovations, and Digital Economy.
Telecom infrastructure under stress
Emphasizing the need to build more telecom infrastructure across the country, the new NCC boss said:
- “Considering the fact that many people are going more digital and virtual in everything they do, the telecom infrastructure is now under much stress. President Tinubu’s vision emphasizes the need to build more robust broadband connectivity that will not only facilitate seamless digital transactions but also serve as the bedrock for e-governance and other socio-economic initiatives,” he said.
- “As such, we would align with this aspiration to increase broadband penetration to 70% and to cover 90% of the population by 2025. Therefore, we need to build a reliable telecom industry with impressive quality of service (QoS) indicators with quality of experience (QoE) as our watchword and ultimate goal. This also requires us to address a number of issues such as the Right of Way (RoW) challenge, and ensuring the security of our telecom infrastructure, among others. Efforts must be made to significantly improve service delivery by ensuring the NCC is performance-driven.”
While noting that President Tinubu has a very clear agenda from which all government agencies must take a cue, Maida said:
- “The two major areas are job creation and enabling the digital economy. Where we are going in a nutshell is; that everything that we do in this Commission has to align directly with the Strategic Plan of the Hon. Minister of Communications, Innovations and Digital Economy, Dr Bosun Tijani, and ultimately to the Renewed Hope agenda of His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. We would not deviate from that.
- “We would not entertain anything that deviates from this direction because my key performance indicators (KPIs) are fed into the Minister’s KPIs and the President’s KPIs come from the electorate that put him into power. The Hon. Minister has said clearly that he is ready to build a robust digital infrastructure and empower three million Nigerians digitally and we have to do our best to support him in this regard.”
He stated further that, in the Strategic Plan of the Minister, there was a plan to empower three million Nigerians in digital skills and entrepreneurship, adding that this will require the Commission to support Digital Bridge Institute (DBI) as a digital training institution, to be well positioned in driving the government’s agenda on youth empowerment.
President Tinubu last Wednesday named Maida as the new EVC/CEO of NCC in a shakeup that affected three agencies under the Ministry of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy.
This saw the exit of Prof Umar Danbatta, who had occupied the position since August 2015.