NCC: Serving the Unserved

Through the Universal Service Provision Fund, NCC is making efforts to ensure that telephone services extend to every part of Nigeria


Apart-from-the-SMS-service,-farmers-can-even-attend-agricultural-training-sessions-via-GSM_farmer-on-cell-phoneThe Universal Service Provision Fund, USPF, was established under the Nigeria Commuications Commission, NCC, Act to facilitate the achievement of national policy goals for universal access to information and communication technologies, ICTs, to rural, unserved and underserved areas in Nigeria. The act established the Universal Service Provision Board with the mandate to supervise and provide broad policy directions for the management of the USP fund. The act also provided for the USP secretariat, which shall reside in NCC and be responsible for the day-to-day administration of the fund. The fund started operations in August 2006 and has embarked on various programmes and projects to realise its objectives.

The vision of the fund is “equitable ICT access for all” and the mission is “to facilitate the achievement of universal access to ICT and universal service, through market-based investment, which stimulate development in rural, unserved and underserved communities.” Abdullahi Ibrahim Maikano, secretary of the fund, says there are two programmes designed to drive the USPF – Connectivity and Access programmes. They were designed to complement each other in facilitating universal access and service.

Under the Connectivity Programme, projects are designed to facilitate the rapid deployment of ICT infrastructure in areas where services would not be commercially viable. The fund subsidises the deployment of the infrastructure in collaboration with operators/service providers. The major programmes include Base Transceiver Station, BTS, Project, which facilitates wireless network coverage expansion to the rural, unserved and underserved areas and communities across the country. Under this project, the USPF provides incentives through subsidies to industry operators to deploy the BTS infrastructure and associated equipment that will provide access to voice telephony and data services.

According to Maikano, “This is important, since most of the time, deployment of telephone and other ICT services by operators are often concentrated in the urban areas for economic reasons.” Over 250 BTS projects have so far been awarded.

Students-at-a-Computer-Study-Class-Backbone Transmission Network, BTRAIN, Project facilitates the connection of rural and semi-urban areas to the national transmission backbone infrastructure. It addresses the inadequacies of fibre optic backbone networks and transmission links in rural areas, which adversely affects network performance, quality of service, expansion of ICT access and service delivery. “The project will help connect the surrounding communities and areas which have been classified and adjudged to be economically unviable with the aid of smart subsidies given to industry operators,” explained Maikano. About 3,500km of optic fibre cable, OFC, is currently being deployed across the country. The expected outcome is to provide a platform for increased access to broadband and other ICT related services.

The Rural Broadband Initiative, RuBI, facilitates wireless broadband network rollout in rural, semi-urban areas and towns by extending broadband Internet access that will enable end users have access to the Internet at broadband speed. It provides efficient bandwidth distribution network that will serve as a platform for extension and distribution of broadband Internet access in the rural areas at both wholesale and retail and at the same time serve as a catalyst for the uptake of other technologies centred on the Internet: e-library, e-health, e-government and others. So far, 11 pilot RuBI sites have been completed across the six geo-political zones. “The outcome of the project is the widespread availability of broadband Internet services such as internet browsing, e-mail, VoIP and Electronic Testing Services,” explained Maikano.

The University Inter Campus Connectivity, UnICC, initiative is a partnership between the USPF and the National Universities Commission, NUC, to provide ICT infrastructure for the National Research and Education Network, NREN, by interconnecting teaching hospitals and medical colleges to their respective federal universities. The project seeks a seamless connection between the universities and their medical colleges and teaching hospitals to facilitate bi-directional communication for the purpose of sharing resources such as bandwidth and content.

Sixteen universities are benefitting from the first phase of the project.

S/NoUniversity (Main Campus)Teaching HospitalCollege of Medicine
1Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, Ile-IfeOAU Teaching Hospital Complex, Ile-IfeCollege of Health Sciences Campus, Ile-Ife
2University of Lagos, Akoka, LagosLagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, LagosCollege of Medicine, Idi-Araba, Lagos
3University of Ibadan, IbadanUniversity of Ibadan Teaching Hospital, IbadanUniversity College Hospital, Ibadan
4University of Ilorin, IlorinUniversity of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, IlorinUniversity College Hospital, Ilorin
5Usman Dan Fodio University, SokotoUDU Teaching Hospital, Sokoto Bypass, SokotoUDU College of Health Sciences, Sokoto
6University of Abuja, AbujaUniversity of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, FCTUniversity of Abuja College of Health Sciences, Giri, FCT
7University of Maiduguri, MaiduguriUNIMAID Teaching Hospital, MaiduguriUNIMAID College of Health Sciences, Maiduguri
8University of Jos, JosJos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH), JosUNIJOS College of Health Sciences, Jos
9Bayero University (New Site), KanoAminu Kano Teaching Hospital, KanoBUK College of Health Sciences, Old Site, Kano
10Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, BauchiATBU Teaching Hospital, BauchiATBU College of Medical Sciences, Bauchi
11University of Port Harcourt, Choba, Port HarcourtUniversity of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Choba, Port HarcourtUNIPORT College of Health Sciences, Choba, Port Harcourt
12Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Akwa, AnambraNnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, AnambraNnamdi Azikiwe University College of Medical Sciences, Nnewi, Anambra
13University of Benin, Benin City, Edo StateUNIBEN Teaching Hospital, Benin City, Edo StateUNIBEN College of Medical Sciences, Benin City
14University of Nigeria, EnuguUNN Teaching Hospital, Ituku-OzallaUNN College of Medical Sciences, Ituku-Ozalla
15University of Calabar, CalabarUNICAL Teaching Hospital, CalabarUNICAL College of Health Sciences, Calabar
16University of Uyo, UyoUNIUYO Teaching Hospital, UyoUNIUYO College of Health Sciences, Uyo

About 290km of optic fibre cable have been deployed to link the 16 universities with their corresponding medical colleges and teaching hospitals.

The Access Programme are grants-based projects implemented through the provision of direct access to ICT services by end users. Some of the programmes include: Information Resource Centre (e-Library) Project, a platform for online portal that facilitates access to library materials on wide range of subjects and provides access to educational database among public libraries in Nigeria.

According to Maikano, each beneficiary of the e-library received 50 desktop computers, 2 server systems with 10KVA UPS, 2 printers, computer desks and chairs, 2 air conditioners, library software, 2 scanners, a 60KVA generator and V-SAT equipment with one-year bandwidth subscription.

So far, 74 libraries (2 digital libraries in each of the 36 states and FCT) have being implemented; while a data centre has been provided to integrate all the access point and host a central database for all e-content (books, journals, vocational materials and magazines) from all the benefitting e-libraries.

The list and addresses of USPF assisted e-libraries by zone is stated below;

SNStateLocationLibrary Addresses
NORTH CENTRAL ZONE AND FCT
1

Benue

MakurdiState Library, 31 Iyorchia Ayu Road, Wurukum, Makurdi, Benue State.

 

39 Iyorchia Ayu Road, WurukumUgbokoloBenue State Polytechnic Library, Ugbokolo, Benue State.2

KogiLokojaState Library, Stella Obasanjo Library Complex, beside Kogi Radio, Lokoja-Okene Road, LokojaIdahFederal Polytechnic, Idah, Kogi State.3KwaraIlorinNational Library, No 16, Sulu Gambari Way, opposite NIPOST Office, Ilorin, Kwara State.OffaFederal Polytechnic Library, Offa Along Osogbo Road, Kwara State.4

NasarawaLafiaNasarawa State Library, Shandam Road, Opposite High Court, Lafia, Nasarawa StateKeffiNasarawa State University Library, Along Akwanga Road, Keffi, Nasarawa State.5NigerMinnaThe National Library, No A39, Mu’azu Mohammed Road, Minna, Niger State.KontagoraFederal College of Education, FCE Road, Kontagora, Niger State6

PlateauJosThe National Library, Yakubu Gowon Way, Jos, Plateau StateHeipangPlateau State Polytechnic, Birkin-Ladi, along Airport Road, Heipang, Plateau State.7a

FCT

GarkiNational Library, Festival Road Area 2 (near Shopping Centre) Garki, Abuja  UNIABUJAUniversity of Abuja Senate Building, Main Campus, Airport Road, by Giri Junction Abuja7bFCT (Data Centre)GarkiNational Library, Festival Road Area 2 (near Shopping Centre) Garki, AbujaSOUTH SOUTH ZONE8EdoBeninNational Library, Library Board House, Sapele Road, Benin CityEkpomaAmbrose Ali University Library, Ekpoma, Edo State.9Akwa IbomUyoUniversity of Uyo Library, Nwaniba Road, UyoIkot EkpeneAkwa Ibom State Polythenic Library, Uyo Road Ikot Ekpene10RiversBoriState Polytechnic Library, Bori Khana Local Government Area, Rivers StatePort HarcourtRivers State Library, 3 Bernard Carr Street, D Line, Port Harcourt11BayelsaYenogoaState Library, Swali YenagoaTungboFederal Science and Technical College Library, Tungbo Community12Cross RiverCalabarNational Library, 15 Barracks Road, CalabarOgojaFederal Science College, Ogoja13DeltaAsabaState Library, Dennis Osadebe Road, near Grand Hotel, AsabaAbarakaDelta State University Library, along Agbor Road AbrakaSOUTH EAST ZONE14EbonyiAbakalikiState Library, 20, Ezza Road, G.R.A, Abakaliki

AfikpoAkanu Ibiam Federal Poly Library, Unwana-Afikpo, Ebonyi State.

 

15AnambraAwkaAnambra State Library, Ichidi Street, AwkaUliAnambra State University Library, Uli Ihiala LGA16AbiaUmuahiaNational Library, Library Avenue, Umuahia, Abia StateAhonsoFederal Science and Technology College, Ahonso17EnuguEnuguNational Library, NTA Road, beside ESBS Junction, EnuguAmachara MpuEnugu State Library, Amachara Mpu, Aninri L.G.A.  18ImoOwerriNational Library Owerri. Near Central Bank, along Port Harcourt Road, OwerriOrluTechnical Skill Acquisition Center Library, Bishop Shanahan Road Orlu. Imo State.SOUTH WEST ZONE19LagosYabaNational Library, 227, Herbert Macaulay Way, Yaba.OjoLagos State University Library Ojo, Ojo LGA20OgunAbeokutaNational Library, Abeokuta. No 85 Ijemo Agbadu Rd., Wasimi, Ake, AbeokutaAgo-IwoyeOlabisi Onabanjo University-OOU, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State.

21OndoAkureNational Library Oda Road (Opposite Ondo State Law Commission), AkureAgunba AkokoAdekunle Ajasin University Library, Agunba-Akoko22OsunOsogboState Library, Ilobu Road, Okefia, OsogboIle Ife.Obafemi Awolowo University Library, Ile-Ife, Osun State.23OyoIbadanNational Library Ibadan, Plot 774 Iyaganku, Dugbe, Ibadan, Oyo State.OgbomosoLadoke Akintola University, Ogbomoso, Oyo State, Nigeria.24EkitiAdoUniversity of Ado-Ekiti Library, Ado EkitiUsi EkitiFederal Technical College Library, Usi-EkitiNORTH EAST ZONE25AdamawaYolaState Library Near NITEL, Jimeta, Yola, Adamawa State.MubiFederal Poly Library, Mubi, Adamawa State26BauchiBauchiState Library, Abdulkadir Ahmed Road, off Bank Road, BauchiAzareState College of Education Library, Azare-Potiskum Road, Bauchi State.27BornoMaiduguriSir Kashim Ibrahim College of Education Library, Maiduguri, Borno StateMaiduguriBorno State Library Board, Post Office Road, Maiduguri, Borno State

28GombeGombeGombe State University LibraryState Library, Dukku Road, opposite The Prisons, Gombe

29TarabaJalingoNational Library of Nigeria, Darba Road, Best Centre, Jalingo, Taraba StateWukari

Kwararafa University Library, Wukari

 

30YobeDamaturuYobe State University Library,

Km 7 Gujiba Road, Damaturu, Yobe StatePortiskumFederal College of Education Library,

No. 135 Mohammed Idris Way, Potiskum, Yobe StateNORTH WEST ZONE

 

31

 

 

JigawaDutseJigawa State Polytechnic, DutseKazaureState Library, Galadima Street off Sani Abacha Way, Dutse, Jigawa State

32Kaduna National Library, No 1, Bida Road, Opposite CBN, KadunaZariaAhmadu Bello University Library, Kano Road, Zaria

33KanoKanoNational Library, opposite Govt Printing Press, Emir’s Palace Road, Kofar, Nasarawa State.WudilState University of Tech. Library, Wudil, Kano State.

34KatsinaKatsinaState Library, Katsina.

Dutsin-MaIsa Kaita College of Education Library, PMB 5007 Dutsin-Ma

35SokotoSokotoNational Library, No. 12 Sultan Bello Road, SokotoSokotoFederal Polytechnic Library, Polytechnic Road, Kaura Namoda, Sokoto State.36Zamfara

GusauState Library, Canteen Area, Former World Wise Cinema, Igbo Road, Gusau, Zamfara State.Kaura NamodaFederal Polytechnic Library, Kaura Namoda, Zamfara State.37KebbiBirnin KebbiHaruna Rasheed Library, Waziri Umaru Federal Polytechnic, Argungu Road, Birnin-KebbiZuruFed. Science & Tech. College Library, along Ribbah Road Zuru, Birnin-Kebbi, Kebbi State.

 

 

Schools Knowledge Centres, SKC, Project, formerly known as the School Access Project, SAP, is an e-learning initiative of the USPF targeted at junior and senior public secondary schools in Nigeria. In the past, the project was designed as a one size fits all; that is all beneficiaries irrespective of location or needs are provided with 100 ClassMate PCs, 2 laptops for teachers and solar power system to power the facilities and Internet connectivity to facilitate e-learning in schools. A total of 1,334 schools have benefited from the project. They are equitably distributed across the country as follows: North-west zone (258), North-east zone (207), North-central zone (227), South-west zone (208), South-east zone (190), South-south zone (231) and FCT (13).

The Tertiary Institutions Knowledge Centre, TIKC, formerly known as the Tertiary Institutions Access Project, TIAP, facilitates connectivity to broadband Internet with speed of up to 1Mbps in selected tertiary institutions to empower a digital lifestyle. Each benefiting institution received a total of 100 computers, 100 sets of chairs and tables, two printers with network facilities and firewalls with broadband Internet connectivity. A total of 204 tertiary institutions have benefitted from the TIKC and the implementation in geo-political zones is as follows: North-west zone (38), North-east zone (35), North-central zone (37), South-west zone (34), South-east zone (29), South-south zone (31) and FCT (13).

Clusters of ICT/Telephony Gaps in Nigeria Project

In 2013, the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) initiated a project to establish telephony and transport network gaps in Nigeria. The objective of the project was to identify and establish clusters of voice telephony and transport network gaps in the country. It would assist the USPF in designing projects and strategies to help cover the gaps. Maikano is excited about the outcome of the mapping because now with just a click USPF can determine where to build what. The five groupings established are represented in five colours, while areas covered by network is represented in white colour as presented below:

Legend               Pop. RangeNo of Clusters
Areas with CoverageN/A
2,500 – 50,00044
50,001 – 100,00034
100,001 – 200,00062
200,001 – 500,00055
500,001 – 906,00012

In all a total of 207 clusters were established. Each cluster has been defined and its basic characteristics such as major towns, occupation, institutions, vegetation type and others were identified. The estimated population of people living in these clusters is about 36.8 million. An interactive GIS map of the study has been developed to give a visual presentation of the study.

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