Benjamin Babine, Abuja
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Pantami has inaugurated the National Broadband Implementation Steering Committee which he says is aimed at monitoring the implementation of the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (2020-2025).
Speaking at the inauguration which took place on Thursday, the Minister emphasized that Broadband is a key enabler of economic growth in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. He explained that Broadband supports the development of the digital economy, which he says will develop the traditional economy.
He said: “According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the contribution of ICT to the Gross Domestic Product of Nigeria was 14.07% in the 1st Quarter of 2020. This was unprecedented and it reflects how much of an impact technology, including Broadband, can have on the economy, if channelled properly.
“The growth that results from affordable and reliable broadband will enable us get a slice of the Global Digital Economy, which Oxford Economics values at $11.5 trillion dollars or approximately 16% of the Global Economy. This value is expected to grow significantly over the coming years.”
Pantami went on to explain that the new broadband plan is designed to deliver data download speeds of a minimum 25Mbps in urban areas, and 10Mbps in rural areas. He said there will be effective coverage available to at least 90% of the population by 2025 at a price not more than N390 per 1GB of data.
Also, he added that the plan is focused on recommendations in four critical pillars, which he named – “Infrastructure, Policy/Spectrum, Demand Drivers and Funding/Incentives.”
The Minister went on speaking about the nationwide reach of the infrastructure, saying that it targets the deployment of nationwide fibre coverage to reach all State Capitals, and at least 90% of Local Government Headquarters. He said it also targets tertiary educational institutions, major hospitals across the nation and 60% of base stations at statutory rates of N145/meter for Right of Way (RoW).
He finally said that engagements with the Nigeria Governors’ Forum has inspired several state governments to adopt the N145 per meter and a few of these States have even waived the fee altogether.