By Ibiyemi Mathew
The British Government, through the Prosperity Fund’s Digital Access Programme has announced its partnership with the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy to develop a new six years National Broadband Development Plan.The previous National Broadband Plan (2013 -2018) expired on the 31st of December 2018 having had a penetration level of 33% .The new broadband plan is expected to raise the broadband penetration level in Nigeria to between 65% – 66%
The Head of the UK Government’s Digital Access Programme, Mr Idongesit Udoh, said,“The new broadband plan is expected to raise the broadband penetration level in Nigeria to between 65% – 66% over the next six (6) years. It will provide national leadership and strategic sectorial direction for country-wide broadband connectivity and provide a basis for a more thriving digital ecosystem and inclusive economic development.”
Speaking during the Letter of Intent signing at the Federal Ministry of Communications Headquarter in Abuja, the Honourable Minister for Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami, welcomed the partnership and expressed appreciation for the UK Government’s support in growing the Nigeria’s tech ecosystem which will in turn grow the Nigerian economy.
He added that the tech sector in Nigeria is adding more to the Nigerian economy and expressed optimism that the new broadband plan when developed and implemented will promote inclusive economic growth in Nigeria.
The British Deputy High Commissioner, Ms Harriet Thompson, said, “This project contributes to the UK Government’s Prosperity Fund objective of promoting inclusive, affordable, accessible, safe and secure internet access for the socio-economic development of underserved communities in Nigeria”
The project is expected to be concluded by the 31st of March, 2020.