The Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission, Umar Danbatta, has said the commission is working with stakeholders to deepen penetration of broadband infrastructure and services in Nigeria.

Danbatta said this at the Third Edition of ‘The Nigeria e-Government Summit 2021’ held in Lagos.

Represented by Executive Commissioner, Stakeholders Management, Adewolu Adeleke, Danbatta said, “The Nigerian Communications Commission has been working assiduously with all stakeholders to deepen penetration of broadband infrastructure and services which support the growth of e-Governance and other critical digital economy objectives throughout Nigeria.”

According to him, electronic communications have greatly improved the efficiency of interactions among governments, citizens and businesses.

He said governments at all levels now interacted with citizens through SMS and other new media.

Discussing e-governance, Danbatta said, “Government agencies are now able to take better informed decisions, putting into cognisance the needs of citizens while citizens are also being enabled to more effectively participate at all levels of governance – the use of ICT platforms for National Identity Card enrolment by NIMC and voters’ registration by INEC are just some obvious examples.

“Governments are also functioning more effectively – through the adoption of ICT, governments provide access to automated services so that public welfare services are available to all citizens – the use of remote registration platforms for COVID-19 vaccine registration and monitoring is an example.

“Direct access to government services have reduced the involvement of middlemen and significantly reduced corruption in the provision of government services – the internet platforms in programmes such as the N-Power and other empowerment schemes come to mind.”

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Speaking on the deployment of 5G in the country, the DVC said, “Following the presidential approval of the 5G policy, we have developed a 5G deployment plan for Nigeria’s digital economy, and we have set up a committee to auction the 3.5 GHz band for 5G deployment in Nigeria – details of the auction will be announced in due course.”

He added that the commission recently granted approval to the proof-of-concept and non-commercial 5G trial in the 3.5 and 26GHz bands to MTN Communications Plc and is in the process of another trial with Airtel.

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