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Over 7,000 kilometers of fibre optic cable laid across Nigeria in 5 years – Danbatta

. As Federal Government targets an additional 120,000 kilometers in next four years

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Laying of fibre optic cable for 4G in Lagos

As Nigeria continues to search for solutions towards the deployment of telecommunication infrastructure for lastmile connectivity, 7,725 kilometers of fibre optic cables were laid cross the country in the last five years.

The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Professor Umar Danbatta disclosed this during an interactive session with senior media chiefs from the mainstream and online media community where he gave accounts of his stewardship as the Chief Telecoms Regulator in the last five years.

Speaking on his achievements in the last five years, Danbatta said that the diligent implementation of NCC’s Strategic Vision Plan (SVP), which focused on the 8-Point Agenda, has helped to lift broadband penetration from 6 per cent in 2015 to 42.02 per cent by July, 2020.

The sector’s contribution to GDP increased from 8.50 per cent in 2015 to 14.30 per cent in the second quarter of 2020. In financial terms, Danbatta said the Q2 2020 contribution translates to N2.272 trillion.

He noted that when he came on board five years ago, 217 access gap clusters were identified in the country affecting 40 million Nigerians without access to telecoms services.

“But today, we have reduced the access gap clusters to 114 with 15 million of the 40 million digitally excluded Nigerians now having access to telecoms services. We are committed to addressing the remaining access gap clusters, which are areas outside the frontier of economic viability to ensure the remaining 25 million Nigerians have access,” he said.

Similarly, Danbatta said on assumption of office, there were 47,000 kilometers of fibre optic cables laid across the country. However, five years after, as a result of regulatory focus, there are now 54,725 kilometers of fibre cables laid across the country through the efforts of some private companies in the sector.

This translates to 7,725 kilometers of fibre optic cables laid cross the country in the last five years.

“In line with the Federal Government’s target, an additional 120,000 kilometers of fibre are being planned over the next four years. In this regard, the NCC is working on last-mile connectivity to different parts of the country through leveraging the 40 terabyte capacity of five submarine cables on the coastal shores of Nigeria,” he said.