The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has revealed that some 40 million Nigerians are currently without internet access due to more than 200 access gaps in the information and communications technology sector.
Speaking at the ongoing International Telecommunication Union, ITU, Annual Regional Human Capacity Building Workshop organized in conjunction with the Digital Bridge Institute, Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive officer of the NCC, Mr. Umar Danbatta, also stated that something needed to done to bridge these gaps.
“In Nigeria, we have more than 200 access gaps. We know where these gaps are and you won’t believe this, but these access gaps deprive Nigerians, close to 40 million of them, access to internet.” He said.
“When we talk about policies that need to be put in place to improve internet services, we need to look at what we can we do to fast track plugging these access gaps, because unless we do something, many of our citizens would continue to live without access to internet, especially the right kind of internet connectivity, the high-speed internet, which must be facilitated by broadband infrastructure.”
Danbatta argued that the infrastructure needed to facilitate Internet access should be available, noting, however, that the federal government had begun the process and had already divided the country into seven zones, with each zone having a license to deploy broadband infrastructure.
Connectivity is key to empowering citizens, socially and economically. It would play a critical role in the country’s digital transformation drive. He added.
“The whole essence is to provide that connectivity which is necessary; and connectivity that is easily accessible and easily available and of course, affordable, to the masses of this country. I believe other countries are doing the same so that access to the internet can be facilitated at the right speed and time, irrespective of where our citizens are located. Access is very important,” he noted.
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