More access by 2015
The Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited is to drive more broadband penetration in the country by 2015.
The Managing Director and Chief Executive of the government-owned satellite company, Timasaniyu Ahmed-Rufai, stated this in a paper presentation at the Convergence forum in Lagos.
Ahmed-Rufai, who was represented by the Manager, Technical Services, NIGCOMSAT, Inuwa Alhaji, lamented that broadband access in the country still stood at a paltry five per cent while only 28 per cent of the population were connected to the Internet. He recalled that the International Telecommunications Union had set a target of 50 billion broadband connections by 2020 while proposing that 40% of households should be connected to broadband globally by 2015.
In view of this, Ahmed-Rufai said NIGCOMSAT shared the vision and would be in the forefront of ensuring that Nigeria met the target. He said, “NIGCOMSAT is committed to driving the broadband vision for Nigeria in 2015 through partnership with the private sector.” The Managing Director said that NigComSat-1R will have huge impacts on the country’s ICT sector in terms of cheaper Internet access as well as improved e-Commerce, telemedicine and e-Learning, among others.
He stressed that NigComSat-1R would play significant roles in actualising the Central Bank of Nigeria’s cashless economy, Nigerian Communications Commission’s rural telephony project, and the Independent National Electoral Commission’s e-voting project. Ahmed-Rufai added that it would also tremendously raise the revenue profile of the country, especially as every home would access the Internet easily and affordably.
He said, “Our strategic plan is centred on using our assets, the staff, the satellite and complementary ground infrastructure as an extraordinary vehicle to drive the National ICT revolution in pursuit of self-reliance and required skills for engineering and technology domestication of secured satellite bandwidth and telecommunication services for defence, security outfits and other strategic telecommunications and broadcast needs of the nation”