FG Inaugurates National Broadband Council

By The Citizen

The Federal Government has inaugurated the National Broadband Council, saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that Nigeria has a well-articulated and executed broadband plan.

The Council, chaired by the Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, has both institutional and individual representation that would ensure that the requirements of the industry are taken into consideration, as the plan is executed.

Key institutions and stakeholders in the council include the Association of Telecom Companies, Association of Licensed Telecom Operators in Nigeria (ALTON), Nigeria Computer Society, Nigeria Internet Group and Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria.

Performing the inauguration in Abuja, Mrs. Omobolaji Johnson explained that individual representation in the council includes capable and knowledgeable individuals who are extremely credible in the ICT industry and have shown great passion to see the deployment of a robust broadband infrastructure in the country.

They include former Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Earnest Ndukwe; Founder of Zenith Bank, Mr. Jim Ovia; Titi Omo-ettu; Mrs. Funke Opeke and Junaid Dikko, while international partners are Microsoft and Google.

The minister noted that the inauguration of the council represents an important milestones in the implementation of the National Broadband Plan, stressing that immediately after the report of the Presidential Committee was presented to President Jonathan, the president emphasised that broadband is to digital age, what electricity is to the industrial age and reiterated that the report must be implemented.

Mrs. Johnson said that the National Broadband Plan has been widely circulated with good feedbacks received from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and other international and local bodies who all attested that the plan is robust in depth and breadth and looks like an implementable plan.

She listed the terms of reference of the committee: writing periodic progress reports on the evaluation of the plan; facilitation, coordination and collaboration of various stakeholders during plan implementation; ensuring that various agencies, corporations and institutions are actively engaged; and monitoring of all programmes in the plan.