By Emmanuel Elebeke
The Minister of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, has revealed that broadband penetration in the country increased to 45.43% at the end of October 2020.
In a statement signed by the technical assistant to the minister, Dr ‘Femi Adeluyi, he said the rise in broadband penetration was a result of the increase of 4,061,731 broadband subscriptions between September and October 2020.
The Minister also attributed the increase in broadband penetration to the conscientious implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy for the overall benefit of the economy to achieve a Digital Nigeria.
In particular, Pantami noted that the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (2020-2025), along with the harmonization of Right of Way charges across the States and protection of Critical National Infrastructure across the country, amongst others, have had a significant impact on broadband penetration.
Broadband is critical to sustainable economic growth and according to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Broadband Series, broadband contributes to economic growth through more efficiency in business processes, acceleration of innovation, and more efficient functional deployment of enterprises.
Also speaking on the importance of broadband, the minister said: “A Report titled “How Important Are Mobile Broadband Networks for Global Economic Development” shows that a 10% increase in mobile broadband penetration results in approximately 0.6% to 2.8% rise in Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“In some countries, it increases the GDP by over 6%. The increase in broadband penetration is leading to the growth of Nigeria’s economy in a way that transcends the ICT sector.
“Broadband has supported the growth and enabled financial institutions in the delivery of services to their customers. It has also enabled the provision of digital services across the different sectors of the economy.
“It is noteworthy that all these are part of the digital economy, which has been defined as “that part of economic output derived solely or primarily from digital technologies with a business model based on digital goods or services” – consisting of the digital sector plus emerging digital and platform services.
The Minister, therefore, directed the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), as the regulators of Internet services, to ensure that quality of service improves.
Dr. Pantami would also like to urge all stakeholders to keep supporting the Ministry in the implementation of the Broadband Plan for the overall benefit of the economy.