Investments in submarine cables in the country have risen to $2.2tn, the Federal Government has said.
It stated on Tuesday that the investments were done in the last five years, adding that more investors were currently investing in submarine cables in the Information and Communications Technology sector.
The Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, who disclosed this at the Nigeria Internet Governance Forum in Abuja, also stated that mobile broadband penetration had increased to 20.95 per cent.
According to him, Internet penetration has also witnessed appreciable progress, as over 103 million citizens now use the Internet.
Shittu said, “The Ministry of Communications has attained some major milestones in its mandate of developing the telecom and ICT sector. Today, Nigeria’s active mobile broadband penetration has gone from less than 10 per cent in 2015 to 20.95 per cent in 2017. Nigeria’s Internet penetration has hit a milestone of 47.44 per cent.
“Nigeria is undoubtedly Africa’s highest active Internet user, with over 103 million subscribers as of May 2018, and ranks 10th globally. The bulk of these data subscribers are on 4G technology, with a good number of telecommunications providers now offering 4G LTE services.”
He stated that it was the belief of the Federal Government that as a nation, broadband Internet access should be right of every citizen just like water and air.
“Nigeria has attracted investments of over $2.2tn in submarine cables alone in the last five years. Many other active submarine cables are currently under construction,” he said.
The minister observed that ICT talent in Nigeria was enormous, adding that the government had been working hard to further develop the skill set in the industry.
He stated, “With the abundance of talents in Nigeria, the global community stands to benefit from our skills because it is indeed a new Nigeria that we are looking at.
“I am happy to remind us that a few months ago, JAMB’s database was attacked by cybercriminals. This took NITDA (National Information Technology Development Agency) only a few hours to put it back on stream. I mean our own NITDA.
“So, when people come together and share ideas, it will benefit a greater percentage of Nigerians, particularly in a sector like the ICT.”