By Bukola Olanrewaju
Experts in the Information Communication Technology sector (ICT) have projected an upsurge in broadband penetration in the country from 30 per cent to 50 per cent in 2019.
Broadband is a wide bandwidth data transmission which transports multiple signals and traffic types that enables high-speed internet access that is always on and faster than dial-up access of traditional analog services.
According to Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Nigeria as at November 2018 is experiencing broadband coverage at the low pace of 30.9 per cent which is below standard for business growth and inclusiveness.
In 2018, Active Voice Subscribers base grew from 165,239,443 in October to 169,104,830 in November to draw the line at 30.9 per cent. The figures also released by the commission shows that, total active broadband subscription on 3G and 4G platforms as at November 2018 was 58, 965,478.
To leverage and consolidate on the feat, experts in the industry believes that the percentage will increase in the 2019 to 50 per cent.
Chairman, Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria, Engr. Gbenga Adebayo said that government involvement in the ICT and industrial technological interaction will aid and boost broadband penetration in the country.
Speaking further, he advocated that Nigeria will embrace digital economy more this year.
“This will take us to the milestone of fully digital economy. In 2019, I expect that there will be more use of ICT by government, more e-government activities, now that we have achieved 30% penetration” Adebayo posited.
Adebayo posited that active broadband services serves as a catalyst to business growth and means of attraction to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) which he said is germane to federal government economic recovery plan.
Moreso he said, for the year 2019 federal government should eliminate the charges associated with the Right of Way which adversely affected the speedy growth of the industry in the year 2018.
“With these, we will also take out the roll out obligation of fibers to the hinterland more than what we have done in the years past to boost broadband penetration.
“We also expect more regular fair review between the policies makers and the industry, so that, from time to time, we will review the state of affairs of the industry. This will help to get things in better direction at all times. The relationship with NCC is being quite positive and I expect that going forward we will also keep that momentum to the best interest of the industry.
Furthermore, Adebayo noted that as an industry Internet of things (IoT) should be embraced more in the year 2019.
Similarly, he stated that “as an industry, there is need to find a way around disruptive technology (over-the-top services). These have now become the order of the day, we need to embrace it. It has to be more inclusive, in essence as players we must embrace Financial technology (Fintech), because they have come to stay.
The President of (Computer and Allied Products Dealers Association of Nigeria) CAPDAN, Mr Ojikutu said for the year 2019, there is need for the industry to improve in terms of knowledge acquisition and expansion.
According to him, the improvement will increase the industry contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Nigeria.
Registrar, Computer Professionals Association of Nigeria (CPN), Allwell Achumba called for promotion of local content for business enhancement and employment creation. He urged ICT companies to prioritize and promote entrepreneurship in the ICT industry by engaging local software developers in their operations.