The Nigerian Federal Government is set on doubling investment in the ICT sector from $25 billion level to $50 billion in future.
Consequently, the government is looking for another $25 billion in private sector investment into the country’s ICT sector in foreign direct investment (FDI).
Minister of Communication Technology, Omobola Johnson who unveiled this ambitious plans in Lagos, during the official launch of the ‘Broadband Campaign” – ‘Connected Nigeria, Connected Nigerians’ said pursuant to achieving this target, the Ministry and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) have been going round the world selling the ICT sector to the international investing public.
According to her, though, the broadband penetration is the country currently stands at between 6-7 percent, the ministry is working with all stakeholders to ensure that the National Broadband Plan 2013-2018 implementation is achieved.
“To ensure that the Plan is monitored, we set up the Broadband Council in 2013 to ensure proper monitoring of the Broadband Plan implementation,” said the minister.
The ICT sector in Nigeria currently contributes about eight percent to the GDP.
She recalled the landmark MoU signed by the Lagos State government and the operators as a loud testimony to the efforts of the ministry at creating a conducive environment for business in the country.
This MoU led to the reduction of the cost of fibre optic deployment by 85 percent, and similar moves are being made to ensure the cost of Right of Way (RoW) is drastically reduced for faster infrastructure deployment.
The objective of the broadband campaign, according to the minister, was to get Nigerians aware of “what can happen when you have broadband access and what can happen when you use broadband.” the campaign is targeted at individual internet users and sensitize end users on cyber security and online protection, among others.
President, Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) and Member, Broadband Council, Lanre Ajayi, commended the efforts of the ministry on RoW reduction cost and also called on the operators to embrace co-location initiative which he said has been a great success factor to achieving broadband penetration.