Nigeria’s Digital Transformation is Being Driven by NCC and Google.

In support of Nigeria’s digital transformation program, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and Google Global Services Nigeria have pledged to collaborate to achieve lofty national goals for universal broadband connectivity.
This is in line with NCC’s strategic vision plan, which emphasizes strategic engagement and collaboration with key stakeholders to achieve regulatory goals.
When a group from Google Global Services Nigeria paid a courtesy visit to the Commission’s Head Office in Abuja recently to discuss possible collaborative interventions to accelerate digital transformation across Nigeria and Africa, the two organizations pledged to work together.
Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of the National Communications Commission, welcomed the Google delegation and stated that the Commission’s expectations, initiatives, and vision for increasing broadband penetration, quality of service, advancement of a digital economy, and commitment to improving national security through technological advancement are at the forefront of its regulatory interventions.
Danbatta, who was represented by the Executive Commissioner, Technical Services (ECTS), NCC, Engr. Ubale Maska, emphasized the importance of such synergy between the Commission and Google, saying that the Commission looked forward to making both parties’ initiatives more impactful by enhancing cooperation between the NCC and Google Nigeria for quantifiable and notable impact.
The EVC expressed confidence that Google’s investment in Equiano, a subsea cable that is expected to arrive in Nigeria by the end of April 2022, will have a greater impact on NCC’s ongoing implementation of the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP) 2020-2025, which aims to increase broadband penetration to 70% by 2025.
“I am optimistic that Equiano will have additional landing points in the hinterlands as a result of collaborative efforts with licensed Infrastructure Companies (InfraCos) to significantly lower retail data prices, complementing the Commission’s efforts to ensure affordable Internet services are available to support the Commission’s ongoing broadband policy drive,” he said.
Juliet Ehimuan, Director, Google West Africa, who led the delegation to the NCC, praised the NCC for taking a consultative approach in formulating regulatory policies, describing the NCC as the engine room for optimal delivery of telecommunications services, which will impact the government’s digital economy drive.
She praised the Commission in particular for conducting a smooth, fair, genuine, unbiased, and successful auction of the 3.5 GHz spectrum for the implementation of Fifth Generation (5G) in Nigeria, saying that it is clear that the NCC and Google have a shared goal.
Demands for internet services, according to Ehimuan, have increased the need for more capacity and long-term engagements with all essential public and private sector parties. She said that Google’s investment of $1 billion over five years in a variety of initiatives will help Nigeria and Africa achieve digital transformation.
According to Ehimuan, data shows that Africa will gain 300 million new Internet users by 2022, with Nigeria leading the way with over 141 million internet members and a broadband penetration rate of over 40%.
Google’s Equiano cable system is the company’s third private international cable and 14th undersea cable investment. Equiano runs around the West Coast of Africa, connecting Portugal and South Africa, with branching units along the way that can be utilized to connect to further African countries. By the end of April 2022, the first branch should arrive in Nigeria.

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