INTERNET Broadband penetration across Nigeria has increased to 14% from 10% two years ago according to data recently published by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
Yesterday, the NCC revealed that Internet usage within Nigeria remains on the rise and is on course for accelerated growth over the coming years. NCC vice chairman Professor Umar Danbatta, assured Nigerians of the possibility of attaining the planned 30% broadband penetration by 2018, as projected in the country’s National Broadband Plan.
Professor Danbatta, made the disclosure yesterday at a stakeholders’ forum organised by NCC to announce Nigeria’s participation at the forthcoming International Telecoms Union (ITU) World 2016 conference taking place in Bangkok, Thailand ,from November 14 to 17. It is an annual telecoms programme put together since 1971 by the ITU.
According to Professor Danbatta, he is convinced based on the Broadband infrastructure on the ground, that it is not impossible for the county to attain the planned 30% penetration by 2018. He added that this is contrary to widespread speculation that Nigeria may not meet the country’s projected plan of attaining 30% Broadband penetration by the said year.
Professor Danbatta said: “As we speak, Nigeria has moved from 10% Broadband penetration to 14% and the penetration is expected to increase more with the rollout of 2.3GHz Broadband services by Bitflux Consortium that won the 2.3GHz broadband spectrum licence. Mobile internet connectivity climbed from 50,000 in 2001 to its current 97m.
“Our processes are being fine-tuned to actualise the licensing rounds. By the time all these are put in place, broadband penetration will increase and surpass the 30% penetration by 2018.”
Already, the NCC has licensed two infrastructure companies for Lagos and north central, Nigeria, including Abuja to offer more services. Five more licences are underway for the northwest, northeast, southwest, south-south and southeast.
Professor Danbatta added that although the ICT sector has recorded a very significant growth over the last 15 years when the country moved from 500,000 active lines to 157m active lines and surpassed the 100% threshold for teledensity to 107%, there is still much to be done to boost broadband penetration in the country. He said the need to attract investors remained the reason NCC is mobilising Nigerian companies and multinationals doing businesses in the country to participate in this year’s ITU conference.
“We have over $35bn worth of foreign direct investment and local investments are also in billions of dollar. Our success story is very long but we as the regulators are not resting on our oars, believing that we are largely there.
“There is a gap in our broadband sector and we hope to bridge this gap by attracting foreign investors to invest in broadband. We are going to Bangkok in Thailand to showcase our products and solutions and to attract foreign investors to come to Nigeria and invest in broadband,” Professor Danbatta added.