‘Nigeria is committed to 30 per cent broadband target’
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has stated that the country is committed to realising the 30 per cent broadband target, set for 2018.
Speaking at this year’s Nigeria ICT Impact CEO forum in Lagos, Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, speaking through the Public Affairs Director, Tony Ojobo, said there was need to focus on ICT, as against too much dependence on oil and gas to liberate the economy.
Danbatta assured that the commission will continue to herald the imperatives of ICT until the nation is sufficiently supplied with broadband to enable it achieve the triple As of Availability, Accessibility and Affordability in the alignment of the commission’s eight-point Agenda.
‘’Broadband deployment and penetration occupies the prime position of the agenda. The vision of our broadband pursuit is to provide and optimize access to and use of affordable fixed and mobile broadband everywhere in Nigeria. Our strategy to achieve this is to facilitate and support availability of broadband services by promoting deployments of universally available, fast and reliable network infrastructure that will stimulate seamless broadband penetration to drive technology innovations and, over- all productivity of the economy,’’ he stated.
Danbatta, who put the current broadband penetration in the country at 13 per cent, said the commission recognised that broadband has become a global benchmark for economic development and benefit of nations and states as, it is imperative that any nation that is serious with economic development must address the issue of availability of broadband very seriously.
Indicating the attainment of ICT in the economy, Danbatta said Nigeria is doing well in that space generally, stressing that the debasing of the economy was actually credited to ICT with a contribution of more than 10 per cent to GDP on a yearly basis which has continued to grow based on the first quarter of the first year.
Danbatta further noted that ICT had substantial impact on other sectors, “it has become the bedrock to the financial sector, positively impacting on the ease and delivery in various sectors. More than 16 million Nigerians were reported to be active on the Facebook platform.”
Danbatta noted that with the level of economic activities generated by the ICT sector when the country was yet to attain the desired level of growth, “it us evident that the nation’s economy will witness more accelerated growth as the scenario painted with the impact of huge broadband penetration is that of economic empowerment which will create more jobs across board, stimulate economic growth and empower the citizenry, while creating a more connected society and activities as envisioned in the new world of Internet of Everything (IoE).
Minister of Communications, Barrister Adebayo Shittu, reiterated the commitment of the government in ensuring the development of the ICT sector.