The Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs Omobola Johnson, on Monday said the ministry was working toward achieving 50 per cent of average broadband speed available worldwide.
Johnson, who made this known in Lagos at the “Nigeria Broadband Discussion Forum”, said that this would be achieved within the next five years.
Broadband refers to a telecommunications signal at a very high speed.
The forum was organised by Accenture Incorporated, a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company.
The minister said that the average speed of broadband access in Nigeria was still very low and should be improved upon.
According to her, the current statistics available to the ministry showed that Nigeria’s broadband speed was the lowest in Africa.
She said that the ministry would facilitate the building of a national integrated network which would distribute massive capacity from undersea cables to increase the speed.
The minister said that the ministry would encourage infrastructure sharing to facilitate an integrated national backbone.
“All over the world, universal access to broadband is becoming a significant indicator of development and competitiveness amongst nations.
``There are compelling and empirical statistics that tell us that every 10 per cent increase in access to broadband in developing countries results in a commensurate 1.38 per cent increase in Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
``Therefore, any country seeking growth, jobs and wealth creation must work toward increasing access to broadband,’’ she said.
Johnson said that the ministry would also ensure that the cost of accessing broadband was reduced to the barest minimum.
The minister said that in spite of Internet penetration of 28 per cent (45 million Internet users), only nine per cent (14.5 million people) of the population were Internet subscribers.
According to her, broadband penetration was at a mere six per cent and needed to be increased because of the economic implications.
Johnson said that currently, Nigeria had one of the highest costs of Internet access in the world.
She said that with strategies in place, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) would contribute at least, 1.5 per cent to the GDP by 2015.
Johnson said that with the broadband in place, the ministry would encourage local content development. (NAN)