NCC Advocates Increased Data Centre Investments for Nigeria’s Digital Economy Growth

“NCC Advocates Increased Data Centre Investments for Nigeria’s Digital Economy Growth”

In light of Nigeria’s burgeoning digital economy agenda, the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has underlined the necessity for additional investments in the data centre segment of the telecommunications sector.

While over $1 billion has already been invested in data centres, primarily in Lagos, the NCC has identified the need for further investments to advance the Federal Government’s broadband agenda.

Prof. Umaru Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, made this assertion during the Telecoms Sector Sustainability Forum (TSSF) 4.0, a gathering organized by Business Remarks in Lagos. The event’s theme was “Mainstreaming Data Centres in the Nigerian Digital Economy.”

Danbatta, who was represented at the event by Dr. Sunday Atu, Head of Tariff Administration at NCC, stressed that mainstreaming data centres is a collective effort. He emphasized the importance of supporting data centres not only in ensuring national digital sovereignty but also in prioritizing content that aligns with the country’s cultural norms, contexts, and ideological values.

Globally, data is regarded as the new oil, particularly in the context of the emerging digital economy. This perspective has made data a subject of special consideration, necessitating appropriate structures and frameworks to harness and optimize the opportunities presented by this digital transformation.

Danbatta observed that data centre services play a pivotal role in realizing the potential of the ICT sector and have far-reaching implications for national economies.

Recent developments demonstrate the immense potential within this sector. Africa is becoming a prominent player in the global technology landscape, with tech giants like Google and Meta (parent company of Facebook) investing heavily in subsea cables to enhance connectivity across the continent.

Google’s Equiano subsea fibre cable, spanning 15,000 km and reaching strategic points in Nigeria, is expected to boost connectivity and create millions of jobs.

Meta’s 2Africa subsea cable is set to connect 16 African countries and generate substantial economic output, illustrating the significant socioeconomic impacts of such investments.

However, these developments raise important questions about digital sovereignty, national policy, and regulatory frameworks for localizing traffic and data. The global data centre market is valued in billions of dollars, offering Nigeria an excellent opportunity to secure a significant share of this investment.

Ikechukwu Nnamani, CEO of Medallion Data Centre Ltd., highlighted Nigeria’s potential in the data centre industry within Africa. Despite having lower figures in GDP, broadband connectivity, and mobile subscriptions compared to other African countries, Nigeria is positioned to excel in this sector.

The NCC’s emphasis on data centre investments underscores the critical role of data infrastructure in propelling Nigeria’s digital economy forward, aligning with the nation’s broader technological development goals.

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