The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) announced at the end of the GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that it plans to deploy broadband services in all of the country’s states by the end of 2009. The NCC hopes that the rollout will help to drive economic recovery: ‘The idea and purpose is to serve the areas that are unserved and improve on the areas that have been served partially. We want to stabilise the environment and create incentives that will improve manpower skills that will lead to economic growth,’ said chief regulator of the NCC, Ernest Ndukwe. The first phase of the project will cover the 36 state capitals, followed by expansion to council headquarters and other towns and cities in the local regions. NCC chairman, Ahmed Joda, said the project was formed under the State Accelerated Broadband Initiative (SABI), which has been a work in progress for the last two years. Three unnamed companies have been approached for the deployment, out of a total of 50 that applied to run and manage the subsidised programme.