From Maryam Hassan, Kano

The Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, has revealed that the country’s internet subscribers have hit staggering 159.5 million.

Professor Danbatta disclosed this at a media chat with stakeholders in the media industry in Kano on Saturday.

According to him, telephone users in Nigeria had hit 218.9 million, while broadband internet subscribers s in the country had now reached 88.7 million, representing 47.01% growth within the period under review.

Professor Danbatta also disclosed that telecoms investment inflow grew from $38 billion to $77 billion by the second quarter of 2023, adding that the sector had contributed 16 percent to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) within the period under review.

He said that the statistics by the NCC was based on the computation by the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

“From about eight percent contribution to GDP in 2015, when I came on board as the EVC of NCC, quarterly GDP has increased significantly to reach its current threshold of 16 percent.

“And this has continued to positively impact all aspects of the economy.”

The NCC Boss, however, attributed the success to “thorough sustained regulatory excellence and operational efficiency by the Commission”, adding that the industry has grown in leaps and bounds over the past two decades.

“We have witnessed explosive growth, improved regulatory standards, and digital innovation that have generated global recognition,” he said.

Danbatta listed issues of Right of Way (RoW), fiber cuts, the high capital requirement for deployment, multiple taxations, and regulations, among other frustrations, constituting barriers to broadband deployment in the country.

The EVC, however, assured that the NCC would “navigate regulatory complexities, digital divide, and literacy to tackle the challenges”.

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