Nigeria to hit 70% Broadband penetration by 2024 as Internet users hit 100m   

Na’ankwat Dariem

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said that Nigeria would achieve 70% broadband penetration within the next five years, (2024).

The Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Professor Umar Danbatta who stated this in Abuja when the management team of Bharti Airtel Group paid him visit saying this would form part of the second phase of the National Broadband Plan.

“We are steadily seeing increase in broadband penetration. As at February, there was a new target of 70% in the next five years…so far, no official announcement has been made on that by the minister.”

“I am sure government will come up with official announcement on the new national Broadband plan, Phase 2. In the area of data usage, there is also steady increase in data usage. We are again seeing that from 4G network services,” he said.

Professor Danbatta explained that “It is important to talk about other statistics. As at February 2019, 174 million Nigerian had access to telecom voice services. And the number is steadily rising. Internet penetration too in real terms is 100milion.”He stated

He commended Airtel Nigeria for being a major player in the expansion of broadband penetration, adding that “it is good to see Airtel providing services, especially 4G services. It is also good to hear the level of expansion because we are seeing remarkable improvement in broadband penetration. The figures are going up.

We are at about 33% now. This, we can attribute to very ambitious expansion of network operators like Airtel in places like Lagos, Kano, Rivers, Ibadan, Abuja. This lends credence to figures we are seeing from broadband penetration.

“We are seeing increase in broadband subscription, especially to services provided by Airtel. It is good for Nigerians to hear this that Airtel is helping us to hit the broadband penetration target,” Danbatta explained.

We were supposed to achieve 30% as at December 2018 but we have exceeded that target courtesy of national Broadband Plan.

Danbatta said that henceforth, whatever percentage increase NCC would give out in percentage terms in reference to the existing Nigerian population and all growth parameters steadily growing, courtesy of 4G expansion programmes operators in the country, which Airtel Nigeria is a leader.

The CEO Airtel Nigeria, Mr. Segun Ogunsanya, applauded the Commission for the successes recorded so far in the Telecom industry.

“And we also wish you continuous success as you regulate and lead the industry and recognise us as one of the leading telecom companies in the country. We create wealth, support and connect people,” he stated.

However, the Managing Director /CEO Airtel Africa Mr. Raqhunath Mandava, explains that Nigeria is the fastest growing market and also one of the biggest markets in Africa and a very critical market as they expand broadband penetration.

He adds that they are committed to having a very heavy investment to help digitalise the country.

Lateefah Ibrahim