Digital literacy critical to successful broadband penetration

Former Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria Communications Commission, NCC, Dr. Ernest Ndukwe has said that digital literacy is a necessary ingredient for successful deployment of broadband services in Nigeria.

He stated this while delivering a speech at the Mobile West Africa conference held in Lagos last week.

He said broadband is an essential and critical digital infrastructure and that digital literacy and appreciation of value of broadband is important to drive value from its penetration in Nigeria.

According to him, “10 percent increase in broadband penetration yields 1.13 percent to the gross domestic product. So, it is important to stimulate demand and improve access to devices that are smart. This is because it will be disastrous if after deploying the broadband and people are deploying it for services only.”

Speaking on ‘Driving universal broadband access in Nigeria to usher in the next wave of telecommunication revolution’ he said broadband services plays essential role in today’s global economy and that despite progress made with voice services, it will be impossible for Nigeria to advance economically without deepening its broadband penetration.

“Broadband is the main thing in the world today. We can be happy with how much we have done with voice services so far, but the truth is that without adequate supply of broadband services, it will be difficult for Nigeria to claim to be an advanced country and that is what we are aiming to be.

“I was actually in the committee drafted by the president to draft the national broadband plan. That has been done and we set some target for the country for us to achieve a certain landmark in the next five years. Currently, the broadband penetration hovers between six and eight percent in terms of people who actually have access but we are hoping that in the next five years, this will go up to 40 percent. And I think there is a chance of even getting it higher than that if the regulatory institutions and other stakeholders do their bits including the private operators,” he said.

He further explained that, “There is a lot of demand for broadband service. This is because, when you look at the population of Nigeria, you will realize that it is made up of a lot of young people. We have over 70 percent of young people in this country.
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