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Broadband: FG targets 70% Penetration at N390 per Gigabyte by 2025

The Federal Government has designed the National Broadband plan to deliver a penetration rate of 70% by 2025; as well as data download speeds across Nigeria – a minimum of 25Mbps in urban areas, and 10Mbps in rural areas, with effective coverage available to at least 90% of the population at a price not more than N390 per 1GB of data, by 2025.

This was revealed by the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) in Abuja, while delivering a keynote address at the National Strategic Mobilization for the Actualization of National Broadband Target of 70% Conference and Exhibition; with the theme, “Realizing the New Set Target of 70% of Broadband Penetration”, organized by the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria.

Prof Pantami who was represented by the Director of IT Infrastructure Solution Department, NITDA, Dr. Usman Gambo Abdullahi said: “Broadband is the backbone of a digital economy as it has been identified by industry experts that 10% increase in Broadband penetration will increase the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of an economy by 1.6% and 4.6%”.

He cited that “as at July 2021 the broadband penetration was 39.79%, adding that the current evaluation of the achievements of the Broadband Plan so far reveals that as of the first quarter, 2022 Broadband penetration stands at 42.27%.

The Honourable minister opined that this steady increase is as a result of relentless efforts made to address those challenges and the government is confident that the figure will continue to increase and surpass the set mid-term target of 50% penetration by 2023.

“Our confidence in this is based on the strength of positive indices in 3G and 4G population coverage which are presently at 83.65% and 62.55% respectively”, the minister said.

He however noted some of the challenges of Broadband to include; multiple taxation and regulation, non-conformity with agreed Right-of-Way (RoW) charges, difficulty in obtaining approvals and permits, burdensome taxes, and levies.

In his presentation, the Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa highlighted NITDA’s contribution towards the demand drivers of 70% Broadband Penetration which are, NIRA Free domain registration.

According to the DG, this initiative seeks to ensure collaboration between NIRA (.ng registry), NITDA and CAC towards getting more Nigerian businesses online by assigning a free .ng domain to every new business registered with CAC for the first 2 years.

In his words; “Our goal is to achieve at least 1 million developers with skill in various aspects of app development in the next eighteen months. Our long term objective is to champion the recalibration of the curriculum of institutions of higher learning which remain the largest pipeline in the production of digital talents”.

“e-Government Interoperability Framework will ensure the implementation of the Nigeria e-Government Interoperability framework (Ne-GIF). The Framework specifies concepts, principles, policies, recommendations, standards, and best practices for MDAs to work together towards cross-portfolio and seamless services delivery”, he added.

In his opening remarks, the President, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Engr Ikechukwu Nnamani maintained that the broadband plan must be implemented and achieved, as this is critical to the digital economy.

He said this is something that will drive Nigeria forward in a positive way and subsequently, lead to development across all sectors of the economy.

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