The Federal Government plans to lay fibre optic cable stretching across 18,000 kilometre in Nigeria to meet and surpass the 30% broadband target set for 2018 in the National Broadband Plan, Barrister Adedayo Shittu, Minister of Communications has told the Nigeria Internet Governance Forum (NIGF 2018).
The Communication Minister made this disclosure while declaring open Day Two of NIGF 2018 Tuesday at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre in Abuja.
“Broadband will drive the education sector, the health sector, the financial sector, the transportation sector and the agricultural sector” the Minister says.
According to Shittu, Nigeria is undeniably Africa’s highest digital user as it has more than 103 million subscribers as at May 2018, while adding that the country runs third globally.
Nigeria’s active mobile broadband penetration has grown from less than 10 per cent in 2013 to 20.95 per cent in 2017. “Nigeria Internet penetration on its own has reached a milestone of 47.44 per cent”, he says at the NIGF 2018.
He says the Ministry is reviewing the country’s National ICT Policy and the National Communications Act to align with the existing entities.
He also assured the NIGF 2018 attendees that the Ministry of Communications will protect the future by identifying smart, attainable, realistic targets to guide actions as it plans to empower the youths of Nigeria on opportunities in the Internet.
Similarly, Professor Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman of Nigerian Communications Commission. who was represented by Engineer Haroon recalls that in 2012, there were only 28 million Internet users in Nigeria noting that as at May 2018, the number has increased to over 103 million subscribers.
“It is not far from the truth to say the evolution of the Internet within this period has been enormous. This evolution shows the importance of harnessing the benefit of the internet for good governance.”
According to the NCC EVC, “In Nigeria, there are more Internet subscribers than there are registered voters.”
In line with laying the foundation for Internet penetration and the increased broadband services this year, NCC has licensed two additional infrastructural companies for the provision of broadband services. “The licences are based on NCC’s open access model which is in line with National Broadband Plan 2013-2018, increasing the number of infrastructural companies to four with more licences waiting for approval thereby bringing the total number of Infracos to seven.”