Omobola Johnson, the Minister of Communication Technology, has called on all stakeholders to work towards closing the broadband gap in Nigeria for the nation to leverage high-speed Internet services and promote the nation’s economic development.
She made the call at a media parley hosted by the Ministry of Communication Technology in Abuja to commemorate the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) 2014.
According to the Minister, WTISD was created to let the global community know the possibilities that the use of the Internet and other information and communication technologies (ICT) can bring to societies and bridge the digital divide.
She added that this year’s WTISD theme aims at achieving economic growth, social inclusion and environmental balance.
According to her, ‘given that estimates suggest that mobile broadband subscription may achieve 10 billion by the end of this decade and that over 90 per cent of international data traffic runs over fibre-optic cables, ITU’s thrust to push the broadband agenda for sustainable development focuses on the dual goals of supporting the deployment of mobile broadband based on ITU’s International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) and the continued rollout of fixed-line technologies.’’
She therefore challenged “governments at all levels, industry, academia and technical experts to identify key gaps in broadband research and development, infrastructure, and packaged development of applications and services and to seek leading edge technological solutions, particularly in the extension of broadband access into rural areas, unserved and underserved areas for the socio-economic development of our country.”
This year’s celebrations, with the theme, “Broadband for Sustainable Development” marks the 149th anniversary of the establishment of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). The ITU has come a long way in connecting the world to the most advanced and innovative means of communication, from the days of the telegraph to the Internet and now mobile broadband.
World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) is celebrated worldwide on May 17 every year.