In recent years, the ICT and telecommunications industry have shown their ability to be Nigeria’s true economic engine. This is why the Nigerian government seems to have decided to firmly focus on digitalisation, by implementing an ambitious plan for the development of broadband.
The ICT race
The sector noting the fastest growth rate in Nigeria is that of ICT. Directly underlining this is the Minister of Telecommunications, Adebayo Shittu, as reported in the online magazine ChannelTV. This analysis is also confirmed in an article by It Web Africa, which indicates that ICT is the country’s best weapon to help bring it out of the shallows of recession. Obviously, this development trend must be seconded and led through forward-looking policies.
The role of TLC
The AllAfrica portal contains an interesting and extensive article by Emma Okonji, ICT and telecommunications expert, dedicated to the role of these sectors in the economic fabric of Nigeria. Unsurprisingly, telecommunications is now the sector with the highest number of jobs and work opportunities, employing millions of Nigerians, either directly or through linked industries. A centrality that, according to the analyst, should be supported by major investments.
The development of broadband
To date, the Internet penetration rate in Nigeria is just below 50%, while that of broadband hardly exceeds 20%. True development of telecommunications and ICT must be subjected to a serious connections growth plan that allows all Nigerians to access the network. Heading in this direction are some major operations announced by the Nigerian government and reported by website Premium Times NG and IT Web Africa. The first action is to grant new licences for broadband services to foreign investors, to incentivize entry in the market. The second action concerns the launch of the second phase of the fibre-optic infrastructure development programme.