Nigeria’s Minister of Communications Technology Omobola Johnson revealed that if Nigeria achieves its targets of a five-fold increase in broadband penetration by 2017, the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) could increase the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 3%.
Currently at 8%, Johnson said that 11% can be achieved if the targets are met. “Today the ICT sector contributes just over 8 per cent to GDP. If we achieve our targets of a five-fold increase in broadband penetration by 2017, from 6 per cent to 30 per cent, we will deliver through broadband, a phenomenal 3 per cent increase in GDP,” she explained.
Johnson highlighted that the National Broadband Strategy and Roadmap details exactly how the country plans to achieve the increase in broadband penetration. “The National Broadband Strategy and Roadmap will articulate how we will deliver these broadband targets local government by local government and state by state.”
In a plight to achieve the targets set out, she asked that state governors work together with telecommunications operators. “I am glad that state governors will host the ICT infrastructure that will deliver fast broadband rollout, but they must be ready to support telecoms operators to achieve the goals of the National Broadband Policy that was approved and released last year.”
According to This Day, “She explained that if state governors allow telecoms infrastructure to be built quickly at reduced cost in their states, it would help deliver all the benefits of broadband in the country before 2017. The demand on existing infrastructure has reached breaking point because the private sector is not investing quickly enough”.
But challenges are due to crop up, and Johnson vowed to resolve them as quickly as possible. “As a responsible government and an effective regulator, we must intervene in issues that tend to drag speedy rollout of broadband infrastructure in the country,” she concluded.
Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor