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FG seeks governors collaboration on broadband penetration, says 10% increase’ll raise GDP by 2.5%

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FG seeks governors collaboration on broadband penetration, says 10% increase'll  raise GDP by 2.5%

L – R: Prof. Adeolu Akande, Board Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, Hon. Minister of Communications and Digital Economy; Mr. Godwin Obaseki, Executive Governor of Edo State; Alh.  Kabiru Balarabe, Secretary to the State Government, Zamfara State; Prof.  Umar Garba Danbatta,  Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, NCC and Engr. Ernest Ndukwe, Board Chairman, MTN Nigeria, during the Broadband Technical Awareness Forum for Governors hosted by the NCC in Abuja on Thursday, 20 October 2022  

Federal government has sought the support of state governors in a bid to increase the level of broadband penetration in the country to engender increase in the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof Isa Pantami, disclosure to at the Broadband Technical Awareness Forum for Governors(BTAF) organised by NCC on Thursday in Abuja. Adding that governments collaboration is essential in reaching a wide range of Broadband Penetration in line with the National Broadband Plan 2020-2025.

According to Prof. Pantami, a research conducted by the World Internet Forum showed that 10 per cent increase in broadband penetration will increase the Gross Domestic Product(GDP) of a country by 2.5 per cent, and in some countries, 8.9 percent.

“The increase in broadband penetration in Nigeria is directly reflecting in our GDP since 2019 to date.

“As at 26th September, 2022,152, 279,265 people representing 79.8 per cent Nigerians have access to the internet while 85,232, 000 representing 44.68 per cent Nigerians have access to broadband. When it comes to broadband penetration, we are on track, we are delivering, in some cases, we have delivered the tasks given to us by 590 percent”, he said.

The Minister further emphasized that access to broadband is no longer a luxury but a neccessity as every element of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) has a component of internet in it.

” If we can put broadband infrastructure in place, we can give generations unborn quality education, transport, information system, systems necessary for security, and economic development among others.

“These are all being done in countries with very high broadband penetration. Doing all these we can be able to meet the Sustainable Development Goals which would not be attained
without ICT infrastructure. So to attain SDG, there must be better broadband penetratuon.” said Pantami

FG seeks governors collaboration on broadband penetration, says 10% increase'll  raise GDP by 2.5%

Gov. Obaseki, while delivering his goodwill message on behalf of other state governors highlighted efforts made by state governments in encouraging broadband infrastructure deployment, and also assured stakeholders of the readiness and willingness of the state governments to work more with the Federal Government but emphasized the need for increased open dialogue and trust between the States and the Federal Government.

Representatives of other state governors also expressed their determination to co-operate more with the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, the NCC and other telecoms companies to facilitate deployment of fibre infrastructure which they believe would improve the socio-economic lives of citizens.

Chairman, Board of Commissioners at NCC, Prof. Adeolu Akande, earlier in his opening remarks stated that, Nigeria deserves to be in tune as the world goes digital in all spheres, as the country cannot afford to lag behind in the league of countries leveraging broadband for socio-economic development.

“We recognize the fact that Nigeria is a nation with federating units. Hence, it would be difficult to achieve faster and desired broadband penetration level without effective collaboration with the state governors,” he said.

Akande particularly emphasised the centrality of synergy to tackle all challenges undermining broadband deployment, particularly multiple taxation, right of way (RoW), denial of access to telecoms sites for maintenance, vandalism, insecurity, among others” the Chairman of NCC Board of Commissioners said.

The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, in his own submission, said the objective of the event was to seek better understanding and rich resolutions to all issues affecting faster broadband deployment.

He reminded participants that, “though we are making gradual progress towards our target, but this forum will provide us with deeper insights on how to address identified challenges to broadband deployment.”

At the event attended by over 170 delegates and following discussion at the technical panel session, several resolutions were made towards ensuring accessible, available, and affordable broadband services that will support the overall socio-economic development in the country.

A key decision taken at the forum is the urgent need to establish State Broadband Coordinating Council, as a Sub-National Structure at the state level which is urgently required to enhance the accomplishment of the objectives of the NNBP.

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FG seeks governors collaboration on broadband penetration, says 10% increase'll  raise GDP by 2.5%

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