Newly appointed Minister of Communication Hon. Adebayo Shittu has pledged his commitment towards making internet affordable for all Nigerians.” Improved and affordable internet broadband is one of the priorities of the Ministry” he said.
He made this statement while addressing the Civil Society Coalitions and other stakeholders within the telecommunication industry in Nigeria in Lagos at Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) Nigeria Coalition meeting yesterday, 24 November.
“A4AI has been one strong alliance aims to increase the affordability of both mobile and fixed-line internet access dramatically, with a focus on achieving the UN Broadband Commission Broadband Target and services priced at less than 5% of average monthly income said Ernest Ndukwe, A4AI-Nigeria National Coordinator.
Dr Ndukwe further explained that A4AI coalition members in Nigeria have formed three working groups working on each priority issues namely: Spectrum, Infrastructure Sharing and Open Access and Pricing Transparency. “Ultimately, this meeting has provided opportunity for all stakeholders and participants to express their views on how best to tackle the challenge of exorbitant charges for internet access in the country” he alluded.
According to the Minister, in this 21 century, internet is an indispensable tool for socio-economic and national development anywhere in the world, therefore, we look forward to building upon the current broadband from the Telecoms operators, expand the spectrum as well as provide necessary infrastructure for the efficient broadband for stronger and affordable broadband that is our priority. “Every other sector in Nigeria needs internet to drive its goals and objectives, For instance recent cashless policy and E-banking would not be possible if there is no efficient, accessible and affordable internet facilities and services all Nigerians.” He added.
He also commended the good works and selfless service of his predecessor, Hon Mobolaji Johnson, the outgoing Minister of Communication, who was also the special guest at the meeting. “She has indeed laid a good foundation and we shall carry on the good work”, he added.
“We look forward to fruitful and productive collaboration with active CSOs, international development partners as well as other stakeholders in communication sector so as to move from advocacy to positive impacts of affordable internet on Nigeria’s economy in the next four years” he affirmed.