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Nigeria confident of achieving 70% broadband target

Nigeria , 22 Oct 2020

Nigeria has advanced on its national broadband plan and, according to the country’s government, has to date deployed 54,724km of fibre.

The West African country aims to increase broadband penetration in the country to 70% by 2025.

“So far, the journey for broadband penetration in Nigeria has been quite commendable and with the steady growth we are making, we are hopeful that our digital economy drive will be actualised,” said Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Ali Ibrahim Pantami.

Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, said the Commission is embarking on necessary regulatory measures to actualise targets, including engaging state governments to slash the cost of right-of-way thus encouraging operators to lay fibre optic.

Several states have either reduced or completely removed right-of-way charges paid by operators.

In May 2020, ITWeb Africa reported that Imo state cut these charges by up to 96%.

Danbatta added: “The Commission will continue to facilitate necessary regulatory measures for the deployment of fibre infrastructure to all parts of the country, which is crucial for pervasive broadband penetration that we are all working to achieve.”

The NCC has previously stated that the country would need more than 120,000km of metropolitan fibre networks interconnected nationally to achieve its goal of pervasive broadband penetration.

In 2018, Danbatta said about 38,000km of fibre optic infrastructure had been laid nationwide leaving a shortfall of 82,000km. While the total length is still less than half of what is required, government officials said steady progress is being made and the shortfall will be adequately addressed by ensuring further involvement of the private sector.

According to the president of Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Engr. Olusola Teniola, there is the need for buy-in by the operators and key stakeholders in the broadband vision and implementation drive of the government.

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