Nigeria’s grassroots communities and the country’s underserved population will not be left out of the National Broadband Plan when implementation materializes.
According to a statement signed by the Director of Public Affairs of the NCC, Reuben Muoka, the Executive Vice President (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Professor Umar Garba Danbatta said in Lagos during a session that discussed the critical issue of financial inclusion should be facilitated by a robust infrastructure deployment for broadband availability.
He said the Commission is aware of the infrastructure gaps in the country and therefore committed to driving the national digital economy down to the grassroots.
NCC’s EVC, speaking through Freda Bruce-Bennet of the Digital Economy Department, reiterated the Commission’s emphasis on supporting the quest for financial inclusion through provision of robust infrastructure such as broadband.
“As a Commission, we are mandated to ensure the availability of universal access to telecommunications services regardless of circumstances and location to Nigerians and other users in Nigeria,” said Bruce-Bennet, who also informed the audience that voice communications benefit more than 100%. penetration,” he said.
At the event hosted by Oriental News Nigeria, an online news organization, at Sheraton Hotels, Ikeja, Lagos which focused on: “Engaging with critical grassroots groups to develop effective financial inclusion initiatives “, Bruce-Bennet, said that the Commission has been at the forefront of the technological platforms necessary to promote access to financial services for all.
She cited the current implementation of an open access model (Infraco license) for the deployment of broadband infrastructure in the six geopolitical zones, as well as in Lagos (which enjoys a special status within telecommunications ecosystem), as one of the strategies adopted by the Commission to ensure robust infrastructure deployments that will support numerous platforms that can accelerate financial inclusion.
Bruce-Bennet said the Commission has facilitated strategic partnerships with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Fintech Association of Nigeria (FintechNGR), International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Rockefeller Partnership Agreement (RPA ) and other government agencies, to promote Digital Financial Services (DFS) and Digital Financial Inclusion (DFI) in Nigeria.
Bruce-Bennet also said that the NCC through its Digital Economy Department is encouraging the development of a portal for the Association of Skilled Professional Craftsmen of Nigeria (ASVAN) for information and digital training.
At the event, the Chairman of the Banking Customers Association of Nigeria, Dr. Uju Ogubunka, applauded the Commission for its regulatory efforts in creating an enabling environment for digitized financial inclusion.
He instructed the participants and other government agencies present to take advantage of the Commission’s information portal to glean the necessary information, as a robust digital economy will, among other things, improve the living standards of those who wish to reap its benefits.