Minister of communications and digital economy, Dr Isa Ali Pantami, has said that the federal government is targeting 90 per cent broadband penetration in most parts of the country, stressing that the president Muhammadu Buhari-led administration has recorded a 45 per cent increase in broadband penetration from the 30 per cent rate achieved from 2000.
The minister disclosed this yesterday in Abuja, at a briefing organised by the All Progressives Congress (APC) professional forum while giving account of his stewardship in that capacity, a statement issued yesterday by the minister’s spokesperson, Uwa Suleiman said.
He noted that this quantum leap represents a 10 per cent increase within a year, from the period of September 2019 to November 2020.
He told journalists that the unprecedented success in the area of broadband penetration was due to the enabling policies established by the federal 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 rate in terms of our total land mass within the next two years.
“It also targets a speed of 25mbps for urban areas while a 10mbps 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.
Dr Pantami noted that a digital economy is an enabler of all sectors and its importance cannot be underscored, as only digital economies will be relevant in global affairs in the near future.
According to him, “Broadband is the backbone of a digital economy as it has been identified by global experts that a 10% increase in Broadband penetration will increase the Gross Domestic Product of an economy by 1.6 to 1.8 percent”.
Pantami said further that the Digital Economy sector remains the fastest growing sector with the highest contribution to Nigeria’s GDP in the present administration.
Broadband is a term used to refer to high-speed internet access that is always on and faster than the traditional dial-up access.