By TECHNOLOGY TIMES Reporters
Lagos. July 18, 2013: Goodluck Jonathan, the President of Nigeria has given a 19-man Broadband Council inaugurated in Abuja this week to ensure execution of an ambitious plan by the Federal Government to promote diffusion of high-speed Internet access expected to foster economic growth in the country.
Earlier in the year, the President approved the Presidential Broadband Plan representing a five-year programme under which government will work with key stakeholders in the Nigerian ICT ecosystem to promote pervasive broadband diffusion across Nigeria.
The Broadband Plan released by the Ministry of Communication Technology expects the delivery of promises of a Nigerian Internet experience where the user can access the most demanding content in real time at a minimum speed of 1.5Mbits/s.
Omobola Johnson, the Minister of Communication Technology who inaugurated the Broadband Council this week in Abuja said that the President has entrusted the 19-member team with the task of ensuring the execution of the Nigeria Broadband Plan.
The Council which will be chaired by the CommTech Minister will work on implementation modalities for the newly developed and approved Nigerian National Broadband plan for the period 2013 – 2018.
The inauguration of the Broadband council represents an important and significant milestone in the implementation roadmap of the national broadband plan, the Minister noted.
According to her, the terms of reference of the Broadband Council include: providing periodic reports on the progress of the plan; facilitating the coordination and collaboration of the various stakeholders during plan implementation; ensuring that relevant agencies, institutions and the general public are actively engaged.
According to her, where necessary the Council shall highlighting adjustment areas where needed in the execution of the strategy and roadmap.
The Broadband Council has both institutional, government and individual representation.
The Minister said that institutional representation is to ensure that the requirements of the industry are taken into consideration with bodies such as ATCON, the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), the Nigeria Internet Group (NIG) and the Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria on board.
She adds that individual representations include highly-knowledgeable people who are extremely credible in the ICT industry and have shown a great passion to see to the deployment of robust broadband infrastructure in the country including the two former co-Chairmen of the recently concluded Presidential Committee on Broadband, Ernest Ndukwe, a former EVC of NCC and Jim Ovia, Chairman of Visafone Communications Limited.
The government adds that Google and Microsoft represent a small section of the international partners strongly-positioned to advance the broadband agenda while public sector institutions that have the direct mandate to deliver broadband to the country are also included namely the CommTech Ministry, NCC, USPF and NITDA.
Members of the Broadband Council include Ernest Ndukwe-Chairman, Openmedia Group; Jim Ovia, Chairman of Visafone; Eugene Juwah, Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Funke Opeke, Chief Executive Officer, Main One and Titi Omo-Ettu, Managing Consultant, Telecom Answers Associates.
Gbenga Adebayo, Chairman, Association of Licensed Telecommunications (ALTON); Ademola Aladekomo, President, Nigeria Computer Society; Bayo Banjo, President, Nigeria Internet Group; Lanre Ajayi, President, Association of Telecommunication Companies in Nigeria; Abdullahi Maikano-Secretary, Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF), Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor, Country Manager, Google Global Services Nigeria Limited and Junaid Dikko, Director, Etisalat Nigeria.
Others include Mohammed Rudman, Chief Executive Officer, Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria; Ayoola Oke, Managing Partner, Ayoola Babatunde Oke & Co; John Ayodele, Director, Ministry of Communication Technology; Emmanuel Onyeje, ex-GM of Microsoft Nigeria and Jinmi Sonuga, Principal Consultant, Business Unusual Ltd.