The federal government is targeting over 70 million internet users in the next three years as the regulators and operators intensify the deployment of broadband infrastructure to the innermost parts of the country.
Mrs. Omobola Johnson, Minister of Communications Technology, said her ministry this year, would ensure that Nigeria surpasses 70 million internet users through an ambitious plan set out in the harmonised national ICT policy. The draft national ICT policy is expected to be placed on the ministry’s website from January 9, 2012 for public consumption and input.
The government already has an ambitious plan to increase ICT contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) up from the present four per cent to six per cent by 2015. “We want to see mobile penetration increase from 60 per cent thereabouts to 80 per cent. That means covering more or less the whole of this country with voice penetration, even though we have 90 million subscribers.
“We want to move from about 58 per cent penetration to 80 per cent mobile penetration. We have about 44 million internet users, but some are occasional users. By making our broadband infrastructure more ubiquitous and more robust, we believe we can increase the number of internet users to 70 million,” she said.
She intends to rally the public and private sector stakeholders together in taking broadband to the country.
Broadband is really about getting fast internet all over Nigeria in both urban, semi urban and rural areas. “We have decided within the ministry that this country is really underserved when it comes to broadband, there is nobody that is properly served in this country as far as internet is concerned.”
Narrating her experience with internet speed in the country, she said “I had a Skype call and I can’t count the number of times the line went off or I couldn’t hear anymore because the speed of the internet was too bad and had to turn off the video call and made do with the voice call, so broadband penetration is really one of the things that the ministry will be focusing on going forward.”