The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has revealed over 35 million Nigerians have not taken up telecommunications services, pointing the blame to lacklustre infrastructure in the country.
NCC executive vice-chairman Professor Umar Danbatta said the problem means there is a large number of people who do not have access to digital financial services which brings a host of benefits to those unable to open a bank account.
“It is a challenge that is attributable to the inadequacy of both wireless and fibre connectivity infrastructure.
“The fact remains that more citizens will embrace the digital financial culture when they have access to telecom services in the distant, isolated, unserved, and underserved communities where they dwell”, said Danbatta as reported by The National.
“We are, therefore, conscious of the urgency of increasing investment in both fixed and wireless infrastructure. This will make the target of at least 80 per cent level of financial inclusion in about four years possible.
“The Commission has thus licensed the infrastructure companies (Infracos), which are to provide the fibre from landing ports to the hinterland of the country. A key focus in this regard is to provide broadband connectivity, especially in the 774 local government areas in the country.”
The vice-chairman warned infrastructure firm InfraCos its licence comes with sanctions if the firm does not meet expectations after being granted permission to dark fibre. He also pledged broadband plans already outlined will cover underserved areas within a number of years, but did not specify.