NCC yearn PPP model to cross digital infrastructure gap

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has recommended Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model as a way to bridge the yawning digital infrastructure gap in the country.

Its Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, PPP should be leveraged to develop resilient infrastructure that will advance the nation’s digital pursuit.

In a keynote during a panel session during a two-day 2021 virtual conference and exhibition on Information Communication Technology & Telecommunications (ICTEL) organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), with the theme: ‘Disruptions, Resilience and Governance in Digital Economy, the NCC chief said the concept of PPP, has become one of the commonly used models of collaboration among stakeholders to fast track socio-economic development whether at the global, regional and national levels.

Danbatta whose session examined how Public Private Collaboration (PPC), which is often referred to as PPP, is creating an enduring collaboration between the private and public sector for the development of the nation’s digital ecosystem, said the role of PPP in infrastructure development cannot be over-emphasised.

He said adequate, robust, resilient and functional infrastructure is the bedrock of communal and societal development.

Therefore, to meet future challenges, our industries and infrastructure must be upgraded by evolving an enduring PPP model that services all the sectors of the economy,” he said.

Danbatta said the high level of infrastructure deficit and its effect on the socio-economic development of the country explains government’s concern and search for an alternative means of providing infrastructure for the teeming population.

In 2005, he recalled that the Federal Government established the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) with a clear objective to accelerate investment in national infrastructure through private sector funding; and to assist the Federal Government of Nigeria and its Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) to establish and implement effective PPP processes.

Dambatta said: “It is gratifying that state governments have also adopted variants of PPP models in order to tackle the challenge of infrastructure in their respective jurisdictions.

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“If the telecom and ICT sector is the real ‘Infrastructure of Infrastructure’ as it is often referred to because of its impact, efficiency and effectiveness on the growth of other sectors, it stands to reason that the telecom sector is the most important sphere PPP should be adopted.

“Interestingly, a 2012 World Bank report already documented how public-private partnership (PPP) projects have been used to provide broadband access nationally, regionally, or in rural areas to improve broadband access to unserved and underserved locations.

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