The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, has said that MTN must list on Nigeria’s stock exchange on or before May 2019 as contained in the agreement over the 2015 fine settlement between the regulator and the telecom company.
Speaking in an interactive session with newsmen in his office in Abuja yesterday, Danbatta also said the five infrastructure companies (Infracos) which hold licenses to drive the broadband penetration across Nigeria will enjoy N23 billion subsidy as soon as they start rollout.
This is to further deepen and increase the level of the country’s broadband penetration which will, in turn, improve the economy, he said.
“There is more to achieving the maximum target of 30% broadband penetration by 2018 ending. But let me say without fear of contradiction that we have so far surpassed the minimum target of penetration; we are presently at 22%, according to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), and we are doing everything within our power to make the penetration more ubiquitous”, Prof Danbatta stated.
He said the N23bn subsidy already approved in the NCC 2018 budget would make it easy for the infracos to rollout and increase broadband penetration.
He said the maximum target of 30% would have been a reality by now had other stakeholders worked as hard as the NCC, adding that the commission subsidy payment was part of ways NCC devised to surmount the challenges bedevilling the broadband penetration in the country.
He said NCC was working with the office of the Vice President on the laying of 18,000km fibre infrastructure to connect the entire country.
He said the National Economic Council had already agreed to the N145 per meter to be charged by states on Right of Way. “This was reached at the last NEC meeting,” he said.
Answering question of why the takeover of 9mobile is taking time, Prof Danbatta said NCC was conducting a thorough due diligence on the preferred bidder, Teleology Limited.
“There are issues but let me say we have almost done with sorting out those issues. We are presently conducting another round of due diligence on Teleology: to examine and consequently determine whether they really have the technical wherewithal to run the company effectively, whether they really have financial capability to run well and so on”, he said.