Nigeria on Tuesday recorded another major step forward in a five-year plan underway to raise broadband penetration to 70%.
Ms Funke Opeke, Chair of the National Broadband Plan Committee 2020-2025, yesterday presented Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, a draft report of the team that is charting a roadmap for Nigeria’s broadband penetration, which includes an ambitious plan to attain 70% penetration by 2025.
The Minister inaugurated the Broadband Committee on December 16, 2019 to develop a new National Broadband Plan 2020-2025, which he says “will be a guiding template for further development of the telecommunications sector”, following the expiration of the previous five-year plan.
The telecoms regulator for Nigeria reported that the nation achieved 37.8% broadband coverage at the expiration of the 2013-2018 National Broadband Plan, originally hoped to achieve at least 30 percent broadband penetration across the country.
Ms Opeke, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of MainOne, the undersea cable services provider, performed the official presentation with other members that included the Committee co-chairman, Dr. Bashir Gwandu, who is a former Executive Commissioner Technical Services at the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); Engr. Ubale Maska, Executive Commissioner Technical Services at NCC, who is the Secretary of the Broadband Committee.
At the presentation, the Minister asked the Committee to review the old plan; examine its challenges and proffer solutions in what he describes as “in the context of growing and emerging technologies.”
According to the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, the new broadband plan, being developed with the support and collaboration of the Government of the United Kingdom (UK), is expected to increase broadband penetration to 70 percent by 2025 “in order to give concrete expression to Federal Government’s commitment to making Nigeria a truly digital economy.”