As at the end of August 2020 and according to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), subscriptions to broadband or high-speed internet services in Nigeria have increased significantly to a peak of 82.7 million.
The Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, made this disclosure while speaking at a two-day first virtual Nigeria Innovation Summit (NIS) 2020 organized by InnovationHub Africa, which started on Tuesday, September 5, 2020.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, who presented the keynote speech at the Summit, noted that Nigeria’s quest to become a truly digital economy is on course with the launch of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) in November 2019.
At the summit, themed: ‘Innovating in Critical Times’, Danbatta said the Commission has increased broadband penetration rate from less than 6% in 2015 to 43.30 percent by August 2020 which translates to 82, 653,247 broadband subscriptions in the country.
The NCC boss who was ably represented at the virtual conference by the Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, Danbatta said that Information and Communications Technology (ICT), and specifically, broadband infrastructure has become the major backbone for government activities and local businesses.
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He further said that such services require fast broadband and reliable connectivity, noting that NCC will continue to work assiduously with its stakeholders, in ensuring that the nation’s ICT infrastructure is able to meet the increased demand for connectivity occasioned by the pandemic.
According to Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, “The NCC has been the major linkage in the drive for optimum economic development, as it remains the pioneer for all the major disruptions that would drive the nation’s economic reboot, especially the financial systems riding on electronic innovations. These innovations are driven by the availability of a robust communications infrastructure, made possible by the Commission’s continuous quest for investment in the sector.”
He further stated that for innovation to thrive, as the anchor for accelerating economic growth post-COVID-19, a robust broadband infrastructure upon which ICT innovations will ride is a necessity. He said, “The most important outcome of COVID-19 for us, as a nation striving for the digital economy, is the need to continue to invest in infrastructure development in critical sectors of the economy, particularly the ICT sector, which has become the bastion of modern economies,”
Dr. Adinde restated the NCC’s commitment to taking proactive steps toward stimulating investment needed to support more robust and resilient broadband infrastructure, that will spur digital innovations in the country.