A statement from the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, shows that about 40 million Nigerian do not have access to the Internet. According to the report, this gap is caused by over 200 access gaps recorded in the Information and Communication Technology industry.
The statement was made by Mr. Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive officer of the NCC, at the ongoing International Telecommunication Union, ITU, Annual Regional Human Capacity Building Workshop organized in conjunction with the Digital Bridge Institute. He said,
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 the Internet. 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.
That being said, he maintained that the necessary infrastructures need to be put in place. He also noted that the Federal Government had started the process and had already divided the country into seven zones, with each zone having a licensee to deploy broadband infrastructure.
Danbatta further said,
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.
The result of providing Internet access according to the NCC chief executive will be the empowerment of citizens both socially and economically, and it will also play a critical role in the country’s digital transformation drive.