Over 180 million telephone lines are linked with the National Identity Numbers (NIN), Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Prof Umar Danbatta has said.
Danbatta said this was made possible following the capturing of over 60 million Nigerians by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) in the National Identity Numbers (NIN) database.
Danbatta also said from available statistics, the telecoms industry has bounced back with broadband penetration peaking at 41 percent while active telephone subscribers have increased by over one million.
He spoke yesterday while delivering his address during the Public Inquiry on three Regulatory Instruments on the Rule Making Process for industry stakeholders at the headquarters of the Commission in Abuja.
The NCC boss noted that it had become imperative to review guidelines for SIM Card Registration and replacement considering the security challenges facing the country.
According to him, in line with the Federal Government’s policy on digital identity, biometric and demographic information of the citizens needed to be updated to enable government address security dimensions of the challenges facing the country.
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The EVC explained that the three instruments being considered for stakeholders input are Spectrum Trading to facilitate deployment of 5G technology, SIM card replacement guidelines and telephone subscribers registration guidelines.
According to Danbatta Spectrum Trading topped the Instruments as the Commission is considering five slots in the mid-band and low-band cadre for allotment to Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) for the deployment of the 5G technology as soon as possible.
“We are looking at robust contributions from stakeholders. We believe that the combination of mid band and low band will provide meaningful 5G services across the country. And it is our belief that new entrants can also take advantage.
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“However, the 5G Spectrum will be assigned administratively, but it will be determined by price and subject to the approval of the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, “ Danbatta said.
Danbatta expressed appreciation to the stakeholders for their responses/observations to the Instruments as published in the Commission’s websites, asserting that some of the issues they raised are being attended to.
He described the Instruments as vital ingredients to the implementation and realisation of the five points agenda of the NCC’s leadership to ensure inclusiveness, competitiveness and economic growth and development for the industry and the country.