The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says the country is hopeful of surpassing the 30 per cent broadband penetration target by 2018.

The Director, Research and Development, NCC, Mrs Iyabo Sholanke made the projection during an interview with newmen on Thursday in Lagos.

She spoke on the backdrop of the 2017 Nigeria Mobile Economy Summit and Expo (NiMES).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta bagged the ”Africa Information Society Merit Award” at NiMES.

Sholanke said that the 30 per cent target could be surpassed, due to the projects and strategies that the commission had put in place.

She said that the country needed broadband to drive mobile economy and the regulatory body was working and encouraging its deployment.

According to her, with the Nigerian National Broadband Plan target and the current 21 per cent penetration; by 2018, NCC is hopeful that the country will surpass the target.

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“We are also licensing Infrastructure Companies (InfraCos) that will drive the broadband infrastructure deployment.

“By the time that is done, we hope that there will escalation of broadband in Nigeria.

“As you can see, we have the likes of Konga, Jumia, Yudala and a lot of start-ups who are doing something with broadband.

“You can not really do much with mobile money, mobile economy or ecommerce without broadband.

“We are trying to encourage young people to develop software to tap into ICT as the next level of development in the world,” she said.

The director said that NCC was supplying computers to secondary school students and tertiary institutions, geared toward achieving the broadband target.

She said that the commission was also talking with the right stakeholders to solve some of the problems associated with the deployment of broadband.

Sholanke said that the EVC had set up an 8-point agenda which NCC was working with, and broadband was one of the points.

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Tthe covener of NiMES, Dr Bayero Agabi, said the ”African Information Society Merit Award” was given once in two years for whoever was able to use his or her office to promote ICT.

Agabi commended Danbatta for coming up with the 8-point agenda when he came on board as the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC.

He said that seven of the points on the agenda had reached almost 80 per cent completion.

According to him, the EVC has ensured that there are series of interventions, to ensure the growth of ICT in the country.