Omobola Johnson, Nigeria's Minister of Communication Technology

Nigeria’s government is aiming to double its broadband penetration in the next three years – from 6 to 12%.

The government’s new ICT strategy aims to take the country to an information society in line with ITU development goals. Among the new directives issued by ICT Minister Omobola Johnson are that the National Communications Commission should communicate to telecoms companies the target of 12% penetration by 2015.

Johnson said the Ministry felt that the country was still vastly underserved in terms of broadband. She said: “The ministry and the NCC are working to develop the intervention areas that will be critical to do this.”

Johnson has previously attributed low broadband penetration to the inability of operating companies to extend broadband services inland, from the landing points of undersea cables.

NCC Executive Vice Chairman Dr. Eugene Juwah also said recently that the Commission was working towards increasing broadband availability. This included a review of the State Accelerated Broadband Initiative (SABI) initiative. He said at the weekend that broadband was the future of telecommunication.

The Ministry’s other targets for 2015 include a 34% internet penetration, growing ICT’s contribution to GDP  to 5%, achieving  80% mobile penetration and growing to 70 million the number of internet users.

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