Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami has said Internet connectivity is now more than just a luxury for socializing but it has become a necessity for everyone in this digital age.
He stated this at the recent Post Covid 19 offline meeting of Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) in Abuja, last Thursday.
Speaking at the event, he noted that all sectors particularly education sector has continued to benefit immensely from the availability of internet in helping the researchers achieve seamless feats in their academic pursuits. Unlike those days when there was nothing like internet at all.
“Look at our education sector and, how internet has helped in conducting wide range of research globally without having to travel anywhere particularly during Covid 19 pandemic, a whole of lots of us relied on internet to get many things done”, he stated.
He added that Internet is no longer standalone connection for only the ICT sector, that it has become the key enabler of all other sectors such as health, defence, education, finance qamongst others.
While sharing the statictics, Pantami said: “About 5 billion people across the globe are currently connected to internet, roughly 63% of world population. And approximately 2.9bilion are unconnected which is about 3.7% of world population.
“These numbers of unconnected are much higher than the population of African continent which currently stands at 1.3biliion. That is quite outrageous and huge in this digital age”
He further noted that the most unconnected population are here in Africa, and that would continue to create a huge gap in so many ramifications and sectors in Africa.
According to him, for instance, many people in volatile region have lost their lives during conflicts and crisis due to the fact that they were unconnected to internet.
He further mentioned that cost of production has been one major challenge confronting the telecommunication sector thereby hindering further internet/broadband peneration into most unserved areas and communities in Nigeria.
He added that power challenge has also created limitations for his Ministry in realizing some crucial targets regarding broadband peneration most unserved areas in the country.
Nevertheless, the minister gave his words to all the civil society represented and A4AI delegates at the meeting that he will leave no stone unturned towards the realization of full digital economy in Nigeria which had been set in motion since 2019.