BusinessDay
NigeriaDecides2023

FG seeks fresh $25bn investment for ICT infrastructure expansion

The Federal Government said it is seeking an additional $25 billion investment required to expand Information Communications Technology (ICT) infrastructure in Nigeria.

Foreign direct investments (FDIs) in the country’s vibrant telecoms industry currently stand at $25 billion, with the government keen on doubling the current investment.

Omobola Johnson, minister of communications technology, made the disclosure during the soft launch of ‘Broadband Campaign’ with the theme ‘Connected Nigeria, Connected Nigerians’ in Lagos on Monday. According to the minister, “We need $25 billion more in the next few years into the country.

“As I speak with you, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is going around, as the ministry also does, to win more investors into the country to boost broadband penetration in Nigeria”, the minister said.

Johnson further explained that though the broadband penetration in the country currently stands at between 6 percent and 7 percent, the ministry was working assiduously with all stakeholders in the sector to ensure that the National Broadband Plan (2013-2018) is fully 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”, she said.

Johnson further added that the ministry has been working with state governments and other stakeholders to address some of the operational and environmental obstacles to help accelerate the broadband infrastructure deployment by operators.

She cited the effort which the ministry has made in Lagos State to reduce the cost of fiber optic deployment by 85 percent, stressing that similar move is being made to ensure the right of way (RoW) and cost is drastically reduced for faster infrastructure rollout.

Speaking on the objective of the broadband campaign, the minister said it was meant to get Nigerians to be aware of “what can happen when you have broadband access and what can happen when you use broadband”. She said the campaign, mainly targeted at individual internet users, is to also sensitise end users on cyber security and online protection, among others. “So, the campaign is not premature. We want people to understand and know what is possible and benefits about the broadband”, she said.

Ben Uzor