Nigerian Communication Satellite Ltd. (NIGCOMSAT) has expressed concern over inability to achieve its earlier intended 30 per cent broadband penetration to ease internet access in the country.
Mr Muhammad Jiya, the satellite company’s Senior Manager in the Department of Innovation and Development, expressed the concern on Thursday in an interview in Abuja.
It would be recalled that the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu in 2016 said that the country would achieve 30 per cent national broadband penetration by the end of 2018 as projected in the country’s National Broadband Plan.
Shittu then said that the country had so far achieved between 18 to 20 per cent penetration as a result of private sector initiatives.
Jiya identified that internet accessibility and connectivity was a huge challenge to many citizens, especially in remote areas.
According to him, the higher broadband will ensure that those remote areas without access can be reached.
He added that “not being able to achieve the 30 per cent broadband penetration is a source of concern to us because we need data for the economy and what drives data is connectivity.
“If we cannot achieve 30 per cent broadband penetration, it is a big challenge but we at least need to get closer to that.
“If we cannot move closer to that, we hope that government will put more emphasis in ensuring that we go beyond the 30 per cent, which will help us a great deal.”
However, the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) saddled with working toward the attainment of the broadband in November said the country could not achieve the 30 per cent broadband.
The NCC said that the country’s broadband penetration was presently 23 per cent and was stalled with high Right of Way (RoW) charges and multiple taxation from some institutions and state governments, among other challenges.