The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said on Friday provisions have been made in its 2017 budget to extend telecommunications services to additional 40 million people across the country.
The Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Umar Dambatta, made this known in Lagos during a sensitization workshop organised by NCC for law enforcement agencies on telecommunications matters.
Dambatta, represented by the Director of Public Affairs, NCC, Mr. Tony Ojobo, said the commission had conducted a survey, which identified about 200 communities nationwide with access gap.
He said through the Universal Service Provision Fund (ISPF) being managed by a department under NCC, 40 million people in these areas would be covered in 2017.
According to him, the empirical studies have shown correlation between usage of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and social development.
“As you are aware, the growth witnessed in the telecommunications sector in the last 15 years has been phenomenal by all standards, “the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quoted the NCC chief as saying at the forum.
“From less than half a million lines on the eve of our democratic revival, today, active connected telephone lines are about 150 million, which has come with a contributing increase in teledensity.
“Development in other sectors of the economy had been shaped positively and measurably by the potent realities in the telecommunications sectors.
“We look forward to seeing greater development in the sector, because we are irrevocably committed to full implementation of the National Broadband Plan.”