Nigeria’s new broadband plan to reach 90% of population
Nigeria’s broadband plan for 2020-2025 will see Data download speed targets of a minimum 25Mbps in urban areas and 10Mbps in rural areas with effective coverage available to at least 90% of the population by 2025 at a price not more than N390 per 1GB of data.
Speaking during a virtual training conference organised by the World Bank yesterday, Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami explained how the Plan is aimed at the significant reduction of access gaps through the expansion of broadband access across the country.
To achieve these targets the plan is focused on recommendations in four critical pillars, namely: infrastructure; policy/spectrum; demand drivers and funding/incentives. The Plan targets the deployment of a nationwide fibre coverage to reach all State Capitals, and a point of presence in at least 90% of Local Government Headquarters.
“As at the time we commenced the process of drafting a new broadband plan to replace the expired plan, our broadband penetration in the country was just over 33%. As a result of the implementation of the new plan, this broadband penetration has significantly increased to 45.07%, as of November 2020. Much as these figures are impressive, we will not rest on our oars and will keep implementing initiatives to increase the broadband coverage in line with our Plan,” said Pantami.
The Importance of Broadband
He said broadband has often been referred to as a key enabler of economic growth in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. According to a report by Ericsson titled "How Important Are Mobile Broadband Networks for Global Economic Development”, 10% increase in mobile broadband penetration results in approximately 0.6% to 2.8% rise in gross domestic product (GDP).
“Broadband supports the development of the digital economy and focus on growing the National Digital Economy will also improve the nation’s traditional economy. According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the contribution of ICT to the Gross Domestic Product of Nigeria rose to 17.83% in the 2nd Quarter of 2020,” he said. This was unprecedented and it reflects how much of an impact technology, including broadband, can have on the economy if channelled properly, adding that the contribution of the digital economy would even be much higher when added to the contribution of digital services to the GDP.
Innovative Business Models for Closing the Internet Access Gap in Nigeria
“We started discussions with the World Bank team regarding the delivery of this training in December 2020. I then approved the participation of members of the Broadband Implementation Steering Committee (BISC), members of the Project Management Office, staff of the parastatals under the Ministry, and our stakeholders.
“I am delighted to note that close to 60 people will be participating in this training, many of whom have already received their certificates for completing the online self-paced training,” Pantami said.