Nigeria is targeting the attainment of 90 per cent broadband penetration rate in terms of population and a 70 per cent rate in terms of our total land mass within the next two years through its National Broadband Plan 2020-2030.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, made this known in a chat with journalists while giving account of his stewardship in office so far under the auspices of the All Progressives Congress Professional Forum yesterday in Abuja.
He said the digital economy sector in the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari had recorded a 45 per cent increase in broadband penetration from the 30 per cent rate achieved in 19 years from the year 2000. This quantum leap represents a 10 per cent increase within a year, from the period of September 2019 to November 2020, he explained, adding the unprecedented success in the area of broadband penetration, was due to the enabling policies established by the government in its commitment to digitalise Nigeria.
“On assumption of office, we had a statistic of 50 million Nigerians with no access to telecommunication facilities. We developed the National Broadband Plan 2020-2030 which targets a 90 per cent penetration rate in terms of population and a 70 per cent in terms of our total land mass within the next two years.
“It also targets a speed of 25 mbps for urban areas while a 10 mbps speed is targeted for rural areas. So far, we have been able to achieve a 10 per cent increase just within a year which brings the success rate to 45 per cent. This is unprecedented and it is because of the president’s commitment to a digital Nigeria and support in approving our policies,” he said.
Describing a digital economy as an enabler of all sectors, Pantami said its importance could not be underscored, as only digital economies would be relevant in global affairs in the near future.
“Broadband is the backbone of a digital economy as it has been identified by global experts that a 10 per cent increase in broadband penetration will increase the gross domestic product of an economy by 1.6 to 1.8 per cent”, he pointed out.
A statement by the minister’s spokesperson, Mrs Uwa Suleiman, said the digital economy sector remained the fastest growing sector with the highest contribution to Nigeria’s GDP in the present administration.