The Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission, Umar Danbatta, on Tuesday said active GSM subscribers in Nigeria had increased from 184 million in December 2019 to 199.3 million in May 2020.
He disclosed this at the virtual inauguration/award ceremony of the COVID-19 Research Grant presented to three startups by the NCC in Abuja, according to a report by the News Agency of Nigeria.
The NCC boss explained that internet subscriptions in the same period increased from 126 million to 147.1 million, while broadband subscriptions also increased from 72 million to 80.2 million, achieving a 42.02 per cent penetration in the country.
Danbatta explained that the start-ups participated in a three-month virtual hackathon.
He said, “These may have given impetus to the possibility of holding virtual meetings and conferences on video technologies that are now providing social distancing solutions.
“So, in whichever way we look at it, telecommunication has a much greater role to play than many other sectors of the economy and society.
“Therefore, the challenge is for us to find a way to accentuate our local content solution, which is a blessing to us. We are pleased with the responses that we received on this initiative.”
Danbatta said that the NCC had in the past two years managed similar ICT-based innovations and research competitions among tertiary institutions in the country, with the potential of improving local content solutions in the industry.
“We should be bold enough as a country in adopting indigenous solutions. We must adopt and consume them. There should be less attention to imported goods.”
He said it was evident that the entire globe was challenged about how best to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.