Nigeria eyes 30 per cent 2018 broadband penetration

Nigeria. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

Nigeria will achieve the 30 per cent national broadband penetration by 2018 as projected in the National Broadband Plan, official said.

Communications minister Adebayo Shittu said on Monday in Abuja that the country had so far achieved between 18 and 20 per cent penetration as a result of private sector initiatives.

He said Nigeria would also look into the complaints of multiple taxation to lessen the burden on ICT operators.

Mr Shittu said the government was encouraging all technology companies to invest in the communication sector to expand the broadband penetration.

Tariff increase

On the proposed data tariff increase, Mr Shittu said the matter was almost sorted out.

He said the issue was between the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the companies.

“When it happened, a lot of people accused me of taking money from these companies, so I have to explain the role I played and you would recall that the Senate, because of the uproar that greeted the issue, called a stakeholders meeting.’’

The minister urged political leaders to see telecoms as a strategic national asset without which Nigeria could not make progress.

Private sector

“If you are a governor and you don’t have access to telecommunications in this world, how will you reach to the masses, how do you communicate?’’ he wondered.

His ministry, he said, would sustain its collaboration with the organised private sector to further explore “the unbelievable potential of ICT’’.

“I am also using this platform to call all operators within the ICT sector to come forward for an interaction with me to look at whatever needs to be done in order for us to improve.

“There are many employment opportunities to be explored if good attention will be placed in the direction of ICT,’’ he said.

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