Nigeria’s Minister of Communications Technology Omobola Johnson said that the country needs to seriously invest in correcting the country’s ubiquitous Internet capacity and national backbone, and it has become almost as important as having adequate water and transportation.
“The emerging trend in Information Communications Technology (ICT) across the globe shows broadband penetration to be yet the unconquered territory in the sector especially in most of the developing countries, thus the need for aggressive handling, to boost efficiency in public safety, government and citizen interaction, education and healthcare provision, as well as the overall organisation and dissemination of knowledge,” she said during a presentation at the Nigerian Broadband Forum.
She added that there is a direct correlation between Internet penetration in a country and its Gross Domestic Product. “Broadband and its universal access is becoming a significant indicator of development and competitiveness amongst nations. Empirical data tells us that every 10 per cent in access to broadband in every developing countries result in a commensurate 1.38 per cent increase in Gross Domestic Product (GDP).”
“These compelling statistics should provide the impetus to meet broadband demand, and if the demand is not there, create that demand. Nigeria prides itself on a telecoms revolution that catapulted us from 400,000 subscribers to over 90 million subscribers today,” she said.
She went on to say that the country will do everything in its power to promote the development of broadband in Nigeria. “We must deplore every strategy and essential ingredient used to achieve the success story of the penetration of mobile telephony as in the case of the delivery of broadband services in Nigeria”.
Last week Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Eugene Juwah said that it is worrying that Internet penetration is low in the country.
“Broadband penetration is estimated to be less than 2 per cent in Nigeria, while the average broadband penetration in Africa is estimated at about 4 per cent; this is worrisome if the country is to be among the knowledge economy by 2020. Thus, the commission hopes to make a regulatory to take technology to the larger segment of the Nigerian society by creating environment and incentives for private sector participation
Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor