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Nigeria needs N700bn to address telecom gaps-NCC

The Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) Prof Umar Danbatta says the country needs about N700 billion to bridge the gaps of underserved and unnerved network users in the country.

Prof. Danbatta who said it would promote widespread availability and usage of mobile telecommunication network across the country, also urged the federal government to declare a state of emergency in the telecom industry.

He stated these at an investigative hearing by the House of Representatives Adhoc Committee investigating the failure of the Commission to provide adequate mobile access to Nigerians.

The Executive Vice Chairman disclosed that about 27 million Nigerians lacked access to mobile telecommunication, and added that there were 220,000,000 active subscribers that own two or more SIM cards.

Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, represented by the Deputy Chief Whip, Nkireuka Onyejeocha, said the absence of quality reception in rural areas was a national concern which was also a reason for the investigation.

The Chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee, Bamidele Salaam, requested for adequate clarifications on the procurement processes of the NCC over the years.

Reporting by Ibrahim Shehu; Editing by Muzha Kucha and Annabel Nwachukwu