President Goodluck Jonathan
President Goodluck Jonathan has restated government’s commitment to build a digital economy, where technology will drive government and private businesses.
Jonathan, who gave government’s commitment in Abuja recently, while inaugurating a 15-man broadband committee to develop a comprehensive broadband strategy and roadmap for Nigeria, said broadband access and internet technologies are key enabler of socio-economic growth and the attainment of a fully knowledge-based economy.
He charged members of the committee to work assiduously to perform the task of attaining full broadband access for Nigeria.
He disclosed that the National ICT policy had set a target of a five-fold increase in broadband penetration by 2017, emphasising that his administration inaugurated the committee to develop a comprehensive broadband roadmap for the country to achieve the goal.
The committee, which has three months to complete its assignment, is expected to articulate acceptable definitions and perspectives of broadband and related issues that are current and dynamic for the country; evaluate and analyse the current position of broadband infrastructure and service delivery in the country; consider the funds requirement for roll out of broadband in the country, and also consider other related and reasonably connected relevant plans and agenda that are incidental to broadband development in the country.
The committee has two co-chairmen- former Executive Vice-Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, and Chairman of Visafone and former Chief Executive Officer of Zenith Bank, Mr. Jim Ovia.
The inauguration of the 15-member broadband committee according to analysts, would boost the campaign for investment in broadband in Nigeria, at the broadband forum coming up in Dubai, UAE from October 14-18 this year, where President Goodluck is expected to be the special guest at the Nigerian Pavilion. The event would be hosted by the International Telecoms Union (ITU).
Explaining the importance of broadband at the inauguration, Jonathan said: “It has the potential to facilitate the creation of new industries and introduce significant efficiencies into existing ones in all sectors of the economy.”
Jonathan also pledged that his "administration will continue to give the necessary support and encouragement to ICT practitioners in Nigeria to empower collective effort in attaining the goal of 21st century economy."
He expressed his administration's commitment to investing in the deployment and adoption of information of Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) as a driver of national transformation.
The ITU Broadband Forum 2012 is being organised by Geneva-based ITU, which prides itself as the biggest ICT forum in the world.
Nigeria is billed to showcase investment and market opportunities for broadband whose campaign began at the last year’s forum where the Minister for Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, and Executive Vice-Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Dr. Eugene Juwah, led the delegation that received commendations from the Secretary General of the ITU, Dr. Hamadoun Toure.
Juwah had indicated that the theme of the country’s participation at the ITU Forum is: ‘Nigeria Broadband – A Connected Nation.’
At the forum, Nigeria is also expected to host the global ICT leaders to a closed door meeting, while a special day has been set aside for hosting key participants at the forum including presentations at the Nigerian Pavilion where public and private institutions and companies are provided spaces to showcase their potentials to the world.