NGF Collaborates With Communications Ministry To Achieve 70% Broadband Penetration

 

The Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) says it is prepared to collaborate with the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy, in order to achieve the Federal Government’s target of 70% broadband penetration.

Chairman of the forum, Kayode Fayemi while addressing journalists after the meeting of the governors in Abuja on Thursday explained that the move is aimed at developing the states’ digital economic strategies.

He revealed that some of the areas of intervention include the harmonisation of all rights of way charges as well as multiple taxations.

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“Governors are committed to harmonise all rights of way charges to achieve the 70% national broadband penetration target by the end of the year 2020.

“Members (NGF members) also invite the ministry to take full advantage of the universal service provision fund (USPF) which was set up to facilitate investment in critical communication infrastructure across part of the country not considered commercially viable,” Fayemi said.

The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy in reaction said he is optimistic that such collaboration with the governors will help to speed up broadband penetration across the states.

According to him, the issues of multiple taxation and right of way charges which the governors have promised to address are some of the critical challenges militating against broadband penetration.

Nigeria Ranks 130th In Broadband Penetration

broadband penetrationNigeria ranks 130th in broadband penetration out of the 189 member states of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the Union’s 2015 state of broadband report says.

The United Nations (UN) body explained that Nigeria, whose broadband penetration currently revolves around 10 per cent, is still ahead of Mali, Congo and Burkina Faso among others.

Libya was ranked highest in Africa at the 25th position.

The report noted that while broadband internet access was reaching near saturation in some parts of the world, African countries have world’s lowest broadband penetration.

The ITU is suggesting the creation of a multilingual and multicultural internet access, to tackle some of the challenges of web expansion in these countries.

The UN body also noted that cost-effective roll out of networks into remote and rural areas were also key to improving access.