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ICT4D Week 2018

Monday, December 17, 2018

Nigeria attains 169m telecom subscribers, 109m Internet users - ITREALMS

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has declared its stimulating competition in the industry through regulatory guidelines, just as teledensity has risen to 169 million subscribers with active Internet users at 109 million, reports ITREALMS.

Keynoting the 4h Quarter seminar cum induction of the Nigerian Information Technology Reporter's Association (NITRA), the Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Communications Commission, Prof. Umar Garba Dambatta made this disclosure, at the weekend in Lagos.

Dwelling on "Achieving Last-Mile Connectivity through Broadband" the EVC represented by Dr. Henry Nkemadu, said that NCC, have organised periodic forums to provide the platforms to engage stakeholders in the telecommunications sector including NITRA and disseminate information available to the widest audience possible.

This, he said, has led to the sector contributing to formal and informal employment generation and increased Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

“As the economy of the Nigeria continues to look up and with pressures from global financial markets, and its position as a major commercial Centre in the West African Region, the demand for reliable and modern telecommunication infrastructure facilities is enormous,” he noted.

Telecommunication, he said, acts as an enabler to drive socio-economic growth, developments and modernization across all sectors of the economy, stressing that the Nigerian Telecommunications Industry has experienced significant growth in telephony penetration.

“From a modest number of about 400,000 fixed and 25,000 mobile telephone lines in 2001, by year end 2007 the industry recorded nearly 42 million active subscriber line connections and by October 2018, the industry recorded 165,239,443 million active mobile subscriber line connections,” he said.

In addition, Teledensity, the EVC said, has risen from 0.04 per cent in 2000 to over 118.03 per cent in October 2018.

Just as the number of active mobile Internet subscribers was 107,106,975 as at October 2018.

“November 2018 has risen to 169 million subscribers. Active Internet Subscribers also risen to 109 million,” he disclosed.

Earlier in his welcome address, NITRA chairman, Mr. Emma Okonji, noted that the association was established in November, 2013,as the umbrella body of all practicing ICT journalists in Nigeria, cutting across the print, broadcast and online media, with a vision to drive ICT development and ensure accurate and robust ICT reportage.

The quarterly forum, he pointed out was a call to action where issues of national interest would be discussed., recalling that importance of broadband infrastructure as an enabler for economic and social growth in the digital economy, cannot be over-emphasised, the former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, had on September 20, 2012, inaugurated the Presidential Committee for a national broadband strategy and roadmap.

The Committee of 15 members was co-chaired by two of our distinguished personalities in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector, the former EVC of NCC, Dr. Ernest Ndukwe and the Chairman of Zenith Bank, Jim Ovia.

The committee successfully completed its assignment and submitted a five-year National Broadband Plan (2013-2018), with a target of achieving 30 per cent broadband penetration by December 31, 2018.

As at 2012 when the committee was set up, broadband penetration was at its lowest ebb of 6 per cent penetration, which at that time, underscored the need for Nigeria to give strategic importance to the development of broadband infrastructure.

Uj. N. Dominic/GEE

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