FG Will Promote Development Of Data Centre Infrastructure-Danbatta

Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta

The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, has described data as the new oil for Nigeria.

He therefore said the Federal Government will promote the “development and deployment of a robust and scalable data center infrastructure”.

Speaking at the fourth telecommunications sector sustainability forum held in Lagos, Danbatta disclosed that recent investment into data space infrastructure such as the laying of fibre optic cables by giant international tech players in Nigeria will create 1.6 million jobs.

The EVC was represented at the event by Head, Tariff Administration at NCC, Dr. Sunday Atu. The forum had as its theme: ‘Mainstreaming Data Centres in the Nigerian Digital Economy’.

He said: “Recent developments point to the limitless treasure within this space. Africa has recently assumed a new frontier and compelling destination for global Big Tech players. These includes such giants as Google with its Equiano subsea fibre cable spanning 15,000 km from Portugal to South Africa with strategic landing points in Nigeria and Namibia and expected to increase connectivity more than five-fold within Nigeria while creating an expected 1.6m jobs.

“Also, Meta, the parent company of Facebook, is equally at the threshold of launching its own subsea cable called 2Africa in 2024 to connect 16 African countries at an estimated cost of $1bn. It is targeted to generate close to $36bn of economic output within 2 to 3 years of operation. While these no doubt portends significant socio-economic impacts for Nigeria, it brings to fore the debate around digital sovereignty and the need for national policy and regulatory frameworks to further localize traffic and data.

“The Federal Government of Nigeria has taken laudable steps to encourage and support data centres services in the country in its drive to ensure data sovereignty.  This is encapsulated in the National Digital Economy Policy Strategy (NDEPS) Pillar #3 on Solid Infrastructure which states that; The Government will promote the development and deployment of robust and scalable data center infrastructure”.

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