Nigeria misses broadband connectivity target


Fibre connectivity

from OKORO CHINEDU in Lagos, Nigeria
Nigeria Bureau
LAGOS, (CAJ News) – NIGERIA has missed its broadband connectivity target for 2023 largely due to the deficit of fibre infrastructure across the country.

This has been attributed to several factors, including high rates charged by state governments for Right of Way (RoW) licenses, security challenges, limited access to foreign exchange and multiple taxation.

According to the Nigerian Communication Commission’s (NCC’s) most recent data on broadband connections, Nigeria’s broadband internet subscriptions increased by a modest 4 percent month-on-month to 94,8 million in December.

This represents a broadband penetration rate of 43,7 percent considering Nigeria has a population more than 200 million.

While December’s figure marks the fastest pace of growth in recent months, the penetration rate falls short of the 2023 broadband target of 50 percent set by the federal government (FG) in the National Broadband Plan (NBP 2020-2025).

FBN Quest, the merchant banking and asset management group, noted underscoring the country’s failure to meet its 50 percent broadband target for 2023 was also the NCC’s adjustment of the telecommunication sector’s statistical estimation to reflect the latest population figure of 216,7 million compared to the previous population figure of 190 million.

According to the NCC, the West African country has about 35 000 kilometres of fibre optic cables in the country.

“However, this is still 60 000 km short of the required 95 000 km for the country’s connectivity coverage,” Tunde Abidoye, Head of the Equity Research Team at FBN Quest, said.

Meanwhile, the government plans to secure US$3 billion from the World Bank to install 120 000km of fibre optic cables across the country.

The National Broadband Plan (NBP 2020-2025) aims to achieve a broadband penetration target of 70 percent and attain a population coverage of 90 percent by 2025.

“Looking ahead, we believe that meeting the broadband target is feasible if the barriers to deploying network infrastructure can be overcome,” Abidoye forecast.

– CAJ News

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