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Nigeria needs ubiquitous broadband deployment to create digital economy – Minister

By on November 7, 2014

The Minister of Communications Technology, Dr. Omobola Johnson has said the sufficient availability of broadband across the nook and carnies of Nigeria, will facilitate the creation of a digital economy for Nigeria.
She therefore called on the private sector operators to join hands with the federal government in deploying broadband for middle-mile and last-mile connectivity.
The minister who was represented by her Special Adviser on Media, Mrs. Efem Nkanga at this year’s West Africa Information and Communications Technology (WAFICT) Congress in Lagos, organised by IT & Telecom Digest Magazine, said: “Broadband access and internet technologies are key enablers of socio-economic growth and a knowledge-based economy.”
She added: “The presence of broadband as a strategic tool in any nation enables the creation of a digital economy crucial for fostering inclusive development. Broadband also plays a very important role in fostering economic development as well as enabling innovation, entrepreneurship and job creation.”
According to her, broadband is bringing positive changes to the way people live, work, create, innovate, trade and learn across the globe- transforming the way things are done everywhere.
Furthermore, she said, broadband and the adoption of Information and Communications Technologies have the potential to facilitate the creation of new industries, facilitate trade and e-Commerce, health care provision, energy management, public safety, government/citizen interaction, among others. Johnson noted that the importance of broadband penetration to the overall development of economies has been constantly reinforced by global statistics that reiterates that for every 10 per cent increase in broadband penetration, there is a commensurate increase of 1.3 per cent in the GDP of a country.
Citing the Asian example, the minister said continents like Asia already stamped its authority on the continent with the dizzying uptake of broadband, adding that South Korea currently has the fastest broadband speed and household penetration rate in the world, beating the US and England.
She said, Nigeria could follow suit to lead the African continent in broadband penetration, should the required measures be taken.
She explained that President Goodluck Jonathan, in recognition of the crucial and strategic role ICTs play in national development, in July 2011, created the Ministry of Communications Technology to facilitate the transformation of Nigeria into a digital economy, and that the ICT sector is the 4th pillar of the economy in terms of its contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP).


[This Day]