Economy

Broadband is crucial for Nigeria’s economic growth – Osinbajo

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By Chijioke Okoronkwo

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo said internet access and broadband penetration will become existential in the near future and will determine Nigeria‘s competitiveness in the global economy.

The vice president said recognition of the importance of internet access and broadband penetration, among others, was the driving force behind the federal government’s initiative on broadband connectivity for all.

Osinbajo spokesman Laolu Akande, in a statement Thursday in Abuja, said the vice president had all but kicked off the Ogun State Digital Economy Empowerment Project.

“Making digital technology accessible to all of our citizens and businesses is the most far-sighted action a government can take today.

“Indeed, access to broadband and other technological tools has become mandatory for any community seeking significant growth, prosperity and security for its population.

“We must continue our quest to democratize access to the Internet.

“We are pursuing this cause because we recognize that Internet access and broadband penetration will become existential in a few years and determine our competitiveness in the global economy,” said Osinbajo.

He said the federal government is committed to ensuring broadband connectivity for all by 2023.

The vice president said broadband ambition is part of the economic sustainability plan.

Osinbajo said that as part of the national commitment to make broadband connectivity accessible to all, in 2017 state governors under the auspices of the National Economic Council (NEC) agreed to harmonize priority fees.

“Charges payable by telecommunications companies and related utility infrastructure on local governments, states and federal highways to encourage co-location of fiber optic cables.”

“In another demonstration of the government’s commitment in this regard, the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy has launched the National Broadband Plan.

“The plan is designed to deliver data download speeds across Nigeria of at least 25 Mbps in urban areas and 10 Mbps in rural areas, with effective coverage available for at least 90% of the population of here 2025 at affordable prices.

“The plan pays particular attention to unserved and underserved areas in the distribution of telecommunications services.

“Many states have already complied with the priority-of-way policy and reduced fares to as low as N140 per meter, while some states have removed the fee altogether,” the vice president said.

He commended the Ogun State government for its leadership in digital technology in Nigeria.

Osinbajo said that by bringing last mile broadband access to homes, businesses and state offices, the government is digitally opening up the state, residents and businesses not only in Nigeria but to the universe. whole.

He said improving broadband access would give young Nigerian innovators the opportunity to compete against their peers from around the world on an equal footing.

The Ogun Digital Economy Empowerment Project is a state government initiative in collaboration with 21st Century Technologies to provide digital infrastructure to improve broadband connectivity statewide.

In addition to Governor Dapo Abiodun, and state dignitaries, former state governor Mr. Gbenga Daniel, executive vice-chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Professor Umar Danbatta, were among others at the ‘inauguration. (NOPE)

(NAN)

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