FG will aid in the spread of broadband through the N800 billion NCB programme

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has established an industry-wide group to expedite the deployment of broadband infrastructure under the National Communications Backbone project as part of initiatives to improve the country’s broadband situation (NCB).


The committee is led by Dr. Augustine Nwaulune, Director of the Digital Economy at NCC, and includes representatives from tower companies, infrastructure companies, and mobile network operators (MNOs).


The National Broadband Infrastructure Joint Committee (NBIJC), as the group is known, is tasked with assisting in the effort to achieve the NCB targets set forth in the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP) 2020–2025.


The Committee is anticipated to organize an NCB finance workshop with the assistance of the Commission, invite all the major financial institutions, MNOs, and InfraCos, and offer the project—whose estimated cost is N800 billion—for adoption and financing.


The NCC’s Director of Legal and Regulatory Services, Josephine Amuwa, who presided over the inauguration in Abuja on behalf of Prof. Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC), said the Committee’s formation was motivated by the need to implement a broad-based industry approach to address issues preventing the achievement of broadband targets.


According to Danbatta, the Committee is intended to advance the goals set by the NNBP, including the installation of 120,000 kilometers of fiber across the nation, a deepening of broadband penetration to 70% by 2025, and the linking of 60% of communication towers with fiber (ToR).


The EVC stated, “I appreciate your willingness and readiness to make a considerable investment of time and talent to participate in this Committee. We appreciate that you will provide an invaluable perspective as we seek to address gaps impeding the actualisation of the NCB and NNBP initiatives.”


“The depth and scope of experiences represented by the broad spectrum of this Committee’s membership will, no doubt, provide the Commission with much-needed insight and drive to overcome the challenges facing broadband infrastructure deployment in the country, and even exceed the current set targets.”


Enhancing collaboration between MNOs and InfraCos to achieve the NCB of the NNBP 2020–2025 is one of the six points of the Committee’s ToR. Another is to design an NCB network architecture and harmonized comprehensive plan that will make a more compelling investment case, establish synergy between the MNOs and the InfraCos, and make infrastructure deployment easier.


The Committee is also required to begin communication with specified financial sources, such as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Infrastructure Corporation of Nigeria (InfraCorp), Africa Development Bank (AfDB), and Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), among others.


While this is going on, the Nigerian Communications Commission’s Computer Security Incident Response Team (NCC-CSIRT) has advised customers to regularly evaluate alerts for Cisco products to determine their exposure and locate a thorough upgrade.


The advisory was released in response to the discovery of numerous vulnerabilities in Cisco Products, particularly the Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client for Windows, which allows staff members to access company servers from any location without jeopardizing security. The advisory also advised using the appropriate software updates, which are available from the vendor’s website.


In a statement, NCC stated the two flaws might allow a remote attacker to exploit the system in question to execute code remotely and manipulate data. The statement was signed by NCC’s director of public affairs, Reuben Muoka.


In accordance with the advice, “The weaknesses in the product include uncontrolled search path and Dynamic Link Library (DLL) hijacking vulnerabilities. The uncontrolled search path vulnerability results from incorrect handling of directory paths. A directory path is a string of characters used to uniquely identify a location in a folder structure.


“This flaw could be exploited by an attacker by generating a malicious file and copying it to a system directory (folder). An exploit could enable the attacker to copy malicious files with system-level privileges to any location. The attacker needs legitimate Windows system credentials to exploit this vulnerability.


“Moreover, to exploit the DLL hijacking vulnerability, the attacker would also need to have valid credentials on the Windows system. The vulnerability was caused by the device’s inadequate run-time resource validation. By sending the AnyConnect process a specially designed IPC message, an attacker might take advantage of this vulnerability.”


The vulnerability was graded as having a high effect and probability by the advisory.

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