BusinessDay

FG urges state governors to prioritise broadband penetration to boost GDP

The Federal Government has urged state governors to prioritise the deployment of broadband infrastructure, especially in rural areas to enable inclusive distribution of internet across the country.

The deployment of broadband infrastructure is expected to improve Nigerian’s Gross domestic product (GDP), and promote technological innovation in every sector of the economy, among other benefits.

The minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami state governors must collaborate with the federal government to ensure that the infrastructure is made available and affordable especially, while pointing out that economic growth now relies on it to a great extent.

He said this at the Broadband Technical Awareness Forum for Governors (BTAF) organised by Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in Abuja.

Quoting a research by the World Economic Forum, Pantami said a 10 percent increase in broadband penetration will increase the economy by 2.5 percent to 8.9 percent.

“This has proven true as Nigeria’s increase in Broadband penetration is directly reflecting on our GDP since 2019 to date,” he noted.

Read also: CBN, bankers’ committee repatriate $1.28 bn under RT200 scheme

The minister also stressed that access to broadband is not a luxury. “Access to broadband is not luxury but a necessity because without broadband how do we fight insecurity? It is necessary for economic development; the health system, the education system the information and communication system and every other aspect of the economy can’t be efficiently managed without broadband penetration hence governments of sub-regions have great roles to play in ensuring Nigeria is not left behind,” Pantami said.

The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Umar Danbatta during the Broadband technical awareness forum held in Abuja said broadband penetration has become a basic infrastructure that must be prioritised especially as most economic activities are now driven by information technology.

“When you look at global infrastructures, those countries with good broadband infrastructures are leading in GDP. This infrastructure enable more and better productivity and innovation

If we put broadband in place, we will manage our electrical energy efficiently. Access to health services in distant location becomes easier, the education and transportation system will become more efficient and the Sustainable development goal of information communication technology (ICT) will be achieved.

In his remarks, Adeolu Akande, board chairman of NCC said in a digitalised world Nigeria can’t afford to have its communities still underserved with broadband penetration.
“As a federal state, the federal government alone can’t ensure the penetration of broadband in all sub units hence the state governments have important role to play in solving the challenges hindering the deployment of this infrastructure in some of our communities,” Akande said.