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Broadband: Nigeria eyes ₦390 per 1GB, 90% spread by 2025

Broadband: Nigeria eyes ₦390 per 1GB, 90% spread by 2025
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Nigeria hopes to achieve at least 90 per cent broadband coverage and ₦390 per 1GB pricing for users by 2025 under the national broadband plan being implemented by the government.

The Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP) 2020-2025 is being implemented to expand coverage and boost the delivery of fast-speed internet connection across the country to drive socio-economic growth.

Mr Adeleke Adewolu, Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management at NCC, who dropped this hint while speaking at a breakout session of the 2021 Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association held in Port Harcourt, says that one of the key policy instruments that guide the development of the Nigerian telecoms sector today is the NNBP.

By the end of the NNBP’s life cycle, Adewolu tells the NBA forum, Nigeria will achieve the target of reaching an effective coverage of no less than 90 per cent of the population at a price not more than N390 per 1GB of data.

1635506352471 Barr. Adeleke Adewolu Executive Commissioner Stakeholder Management NCC copy
Mr Adeleke Adewolu, Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

According to him, the ongoing implementation of the NNBP and the NCC Strategic Vision Plan (SVP), 2021-2025 complement efforts to drive development of new technologies and local content in Nigeria.

By the end of the NNBP’s life cycle, Adewolu tells the NBA forum, Nigeria will achieve the target of reaching an effective coverage of no less than 90 per cent of the population at a price not more than N390 per 1GB of data.

They also form part of key measures that the telecoms regulator is taking to ensure broadband and internet connectivity impact businesses and individual telecoms users in Nigeria.

“The Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP), 2020-2025 has four critical pillars which are:  Infrastructure, Policy, Demand Drivers and Funding/Incentives,” Adewolu explains.

According to the NCC Commissioner, the NNBP is unique in many respects, as it clearly defines ‘broadband’ for Nigeria as “connectivity delivering a minimum of 10 Mbps in rural areas and a minimum of 25 Mbps in urban areas to every Nigerian at an affordable price and quality.”

The NCC Strategic Vision Plan (SVP) 2021-2025 is a template developed by the Nigerian telecoms regulator to streamline regulatory focus for better efficiency in alignment with relevant policy instruments, he explains.

Over the next five years, the NCC’s focus will be on five strategic pillars of: Organizational renewal for operational efficiency and Regulatory excellence; Provision of infrastructure for a digital economy which fosters national development; Improved Quality of Service (QoS) for enhanced Consumer Quality of Experience (QoE); Promotion of fair competition, inclusive growth, increased investment and innovative services; and Strategic Collaboration and Partnership”, Adewolu tells the NBA forum.

According to him, “the impact of connectivity on businesses and the economy, in terms of the impact of internet connectivity on businesses and the national economy is well documented.”  Hence, 10 per cent increase in mobile broadband penetration results in approximately 0.6 per cent to 2.8 per cent rise in Gross Domestic Product (GDP), he says.

Everyone is a witness to the revolutionary impact of the internet connectivity for agriculture, health, education, information and communication, and entertainment, Adewolu adds, noting that this is besides notable revolution in banking and financial services as manifested in the deployment of Automated Teller machines (ATMs) and banking software across Nigeria.

The NCC Commissioner notes that “all industries now rely on internet connectivity provided by our mobile networks to function, such that it is impossible to imagine life without connectivity. In concrete terms, the Nigerian telecommunications industry has continued to lead national economic growth.” 

Adewolu, who says that by Q2 2021, the Nigerian Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector sustained its growth trajectory and contributed 17.9 per cent to national GDP, which he attributed to the growth in the telecoms sub-sector. “This trend demonstrates how much our industry is supporting the achievement of Government’s drive to diversify Nigeria’s economy and to ensure inclusive growth across all other sectors.” 

The telecoms sector has consistently driven the growth of the Nigerian economy and has provided critical infrastructure powering the digital transformation of practically all spheres of life, he adds.

In practical terms, it is difficult to imagine how Nigeria and indeed the global economy could have fared without the internet during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, he says, while citing that the NBA conference, which was holding in hybrid format, “was just an indication of the benefits that connectivity, which the Commission is driving, brings.”

Speaking on local content, he explains that all the major policy instruments emphasise the need for Nigerians to take bigger roles in the ownership and management of major spheres in the sector.

Under the plan, President Muhammadu Buhari recently launched the National Policy for the Promotion of Indigenous Content in the Nigerian Telecommunications Sector, “which articulated very clear policy objectives and strategies for increasing local participation.”

According to the NCC Commissioner, “it would interest you that the NCC has established a National Office for the Development of Indigenous Content in the Telecommunications Sector (NODITS) to drive the attainment of Policy objectives.” 

When taken together, the instruments enable NCC to aggressively drive infrastructure development, ensuring that available, accessible and affordable access to broadband infrastructure and services for all Nigerians are safeguarded, Adewolu says.

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