Sunday, 17 March 2013

NCC: GSM Subscribers Now over 113 Million

17 Mar 2013
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Dr. Eugene Juwah
By Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
Nigeria has witnessed a huge advancement in the development of the telecommunications industry with her subscriber base now over 113 million and an investment profile that currently stands about $25 billion.
The Nigerian Communication Commission  (NCC) which gave the update, said the SIM Card registration had been completed while the much awaited Number Portability project would take  off shortly.
The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Dr. Eugene Juwah, who spoke on the growth in the sector during a sent-forth dinner for old NCC board members in Abuja yesterday, said the active telephone lines had hit over 113 million lines from a paltry 450,000 in 2000.
Juwa while paying  tribute to the four former board members of NCC, the  former Minister of Information, Chief Olawale Ige, Engr. Mutari Zimit, Emmanuel Adabayo Atoyebi, and Engr. Steven Bello, said the growth recorded in the sector was a reflection of the formidable manpower in place.
He attributed the rapid  progress recorded in the sector to the appointment of quality men and women to take charge of the operations of the telecommunications sector.
"Presently investment stands at about $25 billion and active lines are well over 113 million and we are still counting.  This could not have been possible without the team which is seated here  with us today, " he said.
Speaking on the performance of NCC under his administration, Juwah  said the commission has had to rely on the strength of it's human capital to keep the industry moving.
He said NCC has also made sure that it did not scrap the legacy projects that were started by previous leadership.
As part of its drive to steer the ship of the industry on the path of continuous growth, the Vice Chairman, said NCC will encourage more investment in critical infrastructure and ensure that there is adequate investment by operators on each subscriber.
" It is our pledge to sustain the industry as the envy of all sectors of the economy and  by so doing surpass our contributions to the transformational agenda of the Federal Government, " he said.
In the area of shortcomings and challenges,  Juwah said the telecommunication industry is a deep and delicate sector with many divergent interests and stakeholders, some of  whom are difficult to satisfy.
"You will agree with me that just as there were legacy projects, there were also some legacy problems.  The power problem still remains, multiple taxations by various governments are still hydra-headed, vandalisation of infrastructure is rampant, there are multiple regulations from ancillary agencies and right of way for easy service deployment and expansion still constitutes a headache, "he said.

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