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NCC, ATCON moves to ensure settlement of N165 billion debt 
Telecommunications operators have deployed about 52,000km of fibre optic cable to bridge access gaps in the country.

Besides, they have equally deployed 33,000[tooltip id=”4500c2f113202943ff1ae30d00c9d4ac”] [/tooltip]2G,[tooltip id=”4500c2f113202943ff1ae30d00c9d4ac”] [/tooltip]29,000[tooltip id=”4500c2f113202943ff1ae30d00c9d4ac”] [/tooltip]3G and 4000[tooltip id=”4500c2f113202943ff1ae30d00c9d4ac”] [/tooltip]4G|LTE sites across the country. Nigeria currently has five international submarine cable and landing station services operators. The sector’s investment is put at over $70 billion.

The Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, gave the statistics yesterday in Lagos, at the 10th anniversary lecture and awards ceremony of Business Journal. The theme of the event was: Infrastructure and economic growth: Exploring the strategic alliance.

The Guardian checks showed that these infrastructure deployed have helped to increase the number of telephone lines from 400,000 NITEL lines in 2001 to over 150 million active mobile phone users, about 100 million Internet users and a teledensity of 114 per cent as at April 2018.

However, some 33 million Nigerians residing in some 200 communities across the country are yet to have access to basic telephony services.

But, Danbatta, who was represented by the Assistant Director, Technical Standards, NCC, Edoyemi Ogo, said all efforts must be channeled to improve the level of infrastructure in the sector and the country as a whole.

The NCC EVC revealed that the commission was committed to improve Nigeria’s broadband penetration, which currently stands at 22 per cent to 30 per cent by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) has expressed worries over the N165 billion debt burden in the industry.

However, following serious deliberations and mediation, the association and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) have agreed that pragmatic ways must be found to settle such debts.

When the new executives of ATCON visited him yesterday in Abuja, Danbatta observed that even though there is a debt crisis in the industry, it is being managed very well adding that a deadline of mid July has been given for this payment plan to ensure that the companies that are owing starts paying.

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