Prof. Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) on Friday said that presently, broadband penetration in the country was at 13 per cent.
Danbatta made this known during ‘The 2016 Nigeria ICT Impact CEO Forum and Awards’ Africa Digital Awards (ADA)’, organised by ICT Watch Network in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the forum is ‘How can broadband deployment impact on Nigeria’s economic recovery?’
Represented by the Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Mr Tony Ojobo, he said that the National Broadband Committee had projected a target of 30 per cent broadband penetration by the year 2018.
According to him, the country needs to put in more efforts towards achieving the broadband target by 2018.
“Up from the 10 per cent penetration recorded since last year, current estimates put the penetration at about 13 per cent, but the implication is that the nation has little time to achieve the target and probably surpass it.
“One may begin to wonder why we are laying a lot of emphasis on broadband. The reason is not far-fetched, and as broadband has become a global benchmark for the future of economic development of nations and states.
“The World Bank recognises the socio-economic impact of broadband penetration and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), currently promotes broadband through the Broadband Commission, for the benefit of nations.
“Recommendations of this commission make it imperative that any nation that is serious with economic development must address the issue of availability of broadband very seriously,’’ he said.
Danbatta reported the World Bank had said that with every 10 per cent increase in broadband penetration, there was a 1.3 per cent increase on a country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
He said that it meant that any nation that focused efforts in broadband penetration would invariably improve its socio-economic advancement.
The EVC of NCC said that NCC’s strategy was to facilitate and support availability of broadband services by promoting deployment of universally available, fast and reliable network infrastructure.
He said that such would stimulate seamless broadband penetration to drive technology innovations and overall productivity of the economy.
“We will continue to speak about the imperatives of ICT, until such a time that the nation is sufficiently supplied with broadband, to enable us achieve the triple As of Availability, Accessibility and Affordability,’’ Danbatta said.
According to him, Nigeria is doing very well in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) generally.
He said that the rebasing of the economy had actually credited ICT with a contribution of more than 10 per cent to GDP on annual basis.
“The figure has continued to grow. In the first quarter of this year, the report of the National Bureau of Statistics indicated that more than N1.4 trillion was generated by the ICT industry,’’ the EVC said.
He said that in the past 15 years, the Nigerian telecommunications industry had witnessed accelerated growth.
Danbatta said that the industry had 149.8 million as at June 2016, with a teledensity of about 107.1 per cent, while the internet subscription also grew to about 97 per cent. (NAN)