The Federal Government says it is currently targeting 70 percent broadband penetration, and a 60percent reduction in data price before the end of 2025.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami disclosed this at the opening ceremony of a five-day training programme organised for by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), for ICT journalists in Abuja.
Explaining on the envisaged broadband penetration and expected data price crash, Pantami said, the two major challenges bedevilling the telecommunications industry; the Right of Way (RoW) Charges, and infrastructural protection and development issues have been addressed.
“The improvement on telecoms infrastructure has led to the push up experienced in broadband penetration from 30 percent to 40.18 within a space of one year. We have also gotten approval from the government security agencies for the protection of telecoms infrastructures.
“By 2025, we want to achieve 70 percent broadband penetration, so 90 percent of our population should have access to broadband penetration by 2025.
“The money being spent on Right of Way and broad band penetration was what causes the price of data to go up. Our target is that, before the end of 2025, the price of data would be 40percent of what we buy data now,” anticipated Pantami
According to the Minister, the improved telecom infrastructure and reduction in Right of Way (RoW) would also pave way for a favorable competitive playing ground for telecoms investors and further aide the crash in data price.
Speaking on the theme of training : Digital Skills in News Reportage for ICT Journalists, Pantami noted it is in line with one of the critical pillars of the National Digital Economic Policy and Strategy that was unveiled in November, 2019. Adding that Journalists have a great role to play in the actualisation of a digital economy.
“Digital Nigeria cannot be achieved without training people that will play a key role in ensuring that we achieve that digital Nigeria. Our ICT Journalists or multimedia Journalists as the case may be. It is because of this reason we feel that on the top of our priority you (Journalists) are the first ones to start benefiting from this training before others,” he said.
The Director General of NITDA, Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi said, Covid-19 pandemic has forced everyone to embrace the new normal, necessitating a need to re-skill oneself for better opportunities and the only way is through enhanced digital skills which could open new opportunities for the talented ones.
Abdullahi noted that Africa is losing a lot of money to Covid-19 as a result of lack of digital skill, while other continents with digital skills made money during the lockdown.
He further said if journalism must survives the pandemic like other businesses, it needs to embrace digital technology to help deliver on its mandate and urged participants to make the best use of the opportunity.
The President, National Information Technology Reporters Association (NITRA), Mr Blessing Olaifa thanked the Minister for the approval given for the training, and also appreciated the DG of NITDA for accepting to be the first agency to kick-start the training.
He assured that lessons learned at the training will go a long way in enhancing the professionalism of the participant beyond the pandemic.
Other dignitaries at the occasion are: the DG of NIGCOMSAT, Mrs Abimbola Alale, the DG of Galaxy Backbone, Professor M.B. Abubakar, Directors of the Ministry and the Agency.
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