Umar Danbatta
Umar Danbatta, Executive vice-chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission

Umar Danbatta, the executive vice chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communication Commission ( NCC) said the commission is having deep engagement with Starlink to reduce the cost of its service in the country.

The EVC who made this statement at the ongoing Industry Consumer Advisory Forum (ICAF) in Lagos, themed ‘Combatting E-Fraud in telecom platforms: Building consumer confidence in the digital economy’ said making the service affordable will help to close the connectivity gap in the country and make internet connections accessible to rural and underserved areas.

“We recently issued a license to Starlink. This is a communication service provider that operates all over the country. We are trying to engage them to bring the cost of their services down to affordable levels so people in rural areas can equally benefit from this important information. With time we hope the days of un-connectivity will be over with the satellite provision all over the country,” Danbatta said.

He explained that there are many satellite providers in Nigeria but Starlink stands out in terms of fast service operations.

“We are still looking at the price of the Starlink terminal so all Nigerians will be able to enjoy this service. It is faster than 5G and I think the corporate world is all over the entire country. This is one important measure we have put to address the challenge of the access gap which is about 97 now. We have not relented in deploying fixed and wireless infrastructure, especially in the rural and underserved areas of the country to bridge the access gap.”

Meanwhile, the chairman speaking on the theme pointed to the role of law enforcement agencies in curbing E- fraud in the country by ensuring that cybercriminals face the law accordingly.

According to him, “It is not the regulators and policymakers that are in a position to curb E-fraud but equally a major responsibility of law enforcement agencies by making sure perpetrators are apprehended.”

He added that the Nigerian Data Protection Bill recently signed into law will also go a long way to curb E-fraud as it remains an important dimension to access the way data and personal information are being handled and protected.

Stakeholders speaking at the panel session said there is a need for the commission to also have a target on curbing E-fraud, citing countries like the UK who have mapped out plans and targets to curb E-fraud within a certain period of time.

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