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Nigeria’s active GSM subscribers now 199.3m -NCC

NEWSMAN, Abuja – Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, says active GSM subscribers in the country have increased from 184 million in December 2019 to 199.3 million in May 2020.

Danbatta made the disclosure at the virtual launch and award ceremony of the COVID-19 Research Grant presented to three startups, by the NCC on Tuesday in Abuja.

He further explained that Internet subscription in the same period increased from 126 million to 147.1 million, while broadband subscription also increased from 72 million to 80.2 million, achieving a 42.02 per cent penetration in the country saying the pandemic gave “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 much more greater role to play than many other sectors of economy and the society”, he said.

Danbatta said that the NCC has in the past two years managed similar ICT-based innovations and research competitions among tertiary institutions in the country, with potentials of improving local content solutions in the industry, News Agency of Nigeria reported.

“We should be bold enough as a country in adopting indigenous solutions. We must adopt and consume them. There should be less attention on imported goods. It is evident that the entire globe is challenged about how best to tackle this pandemic. Telecommunications and ICTs have taken the centre stage in the provision or advancement of solutions”, he added.

“We have encouraged ICT innovations among the Nigerian youths whom we have regularly sponsored to various competitions organised by the International Telecommunications Union,” Danbatta said.

Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, who presented a N9 million COVID-19 research grants to the three promising startups, stressed that there was the need to adopt indigenous solutions to challenges in the country.

“We need to produce what we need and consume what we produce, any country that remains a consumer nation will find it difficult to succeed,” he said.

Each of the Startups with promising innovative digital solutions against the pandemic will receive a grant of N3 million, they include- Messers Primed E-Health, Messers Cyberfleet Intergrated Limited and Messers Elizade University.

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