Nigeria’s vice president, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has assured that the federal government will continue to do all within its reach to democratise access to the internet in the country.
Osinbajo gave the assurance today in Abeokuta while speaking at the official launch of the Ogun Digital Economy Infrastructure Project(OGDEIP)
The Vice President who spoke virtually, explained explained that it the Federal government recognises the fact that internet access and broadband Communication would help the country in determining it’s competitiveness in the global economy.
He added that Ogun state had positioned itself to become a major global site of the emerging telecommunication economy through its judicious Investment in the right infrastructure.
He described the State governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun as a dynamic, innovative and digitally compliant governor.
He noted that by bringing broadband access to homes, the Prince Dapo Abiodun led government in the state is opening up the state residences and businesses to DigiTech not only in the country, but across the world.
Osinbajo who noted that the project which is part of the President Muhammad Buhari’s objective for broadband connectivity for every citizens of the country, said that the ambition to make broadband available to the people is now enshrined in the economic sustainability plan of the federal government.
The Vice President added that the Federal Government launched the National Broadband Plan which is designed to deliver data download speed of a minimum of 25mbps in urban areas and 10mbps in rural areas, adding that the plan would make coverage available to at least 90% of the population by 2025 at affordable prices.
Osinbajo also noted that the plan would give attention to unserved and underserved area in the distribution of telecom service.
In his remarks, the Ogun State Governor,Prince Dapo Abiodun who noted that his administration would remain committed towards providing the required infrastructure to boost all aspects of the state economy, said that the construction of the Agro Cargo International Airport is part of the wholesome strategy of his administration towards developing air transport infrastructure, especially to boost the Agricultural Development Agenda of his administration.
Abiodun who also added that his administration is also unfolding its power infrastructural project that would guarantee stable power supply to most of the cities and industrial clusters, said that the digital economy infrastructure being the backbone for ICT revolution in the State would further enhance the ease of doing business in the State.
The state helmsman who further noted that the effort of his administration at providing a digital economy in the State will not only help to resolve challenges, both human and economic, but would also provide more opportunities to improve the people’s know-how, productivity and innovations.
Abiodun while noting that the launch of the Ogun State Digital Economy Infrastructure Project (OGDEIP) would help to deepen the various advantages of information technology advancements into all sectors as well as make ICT one indispensable part of the state economy, added that his administration is also putting efforts in place towards improving the status of the state as the Industrial Hub of the nation.
The Governor while noting that the first phase of the project would require laying the foundation for increased broadband connectivity, added that the Project would also see to the establishment of a world class data center along the Silicon Alley in the state capital that will host a variety of ICT services both for the public and private sectors.
Abiodun who also noted his administration is taking practical steps towards integrating technology into its practices and businesses, said that the project would also feature the completion of an ICT Park donated by Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) along the same route which will house world class technology centers for cutting edge technology research and development.
The Governor who also added that his administration has begun deploying electronic document management systems, e-procurement tools and digitized revenue collection platforms towards improving the efficiency and reducing leakages in all the state Ministries, Departments and Agencies, added that the introduction of digital technologies have also started to yield positive results and improve on justice and the improvement of the system of administration of justice in the State.
In his remarks, the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy; Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami who noted the Digital Economy has played a critical role in supporting the economy of the country as well as played an important role in helping the country to exit recession, added that the digital economy would provide the datafication of the society, create jobs and wealth for the people and also increase the level of innovation in the country.
Pantami who further added that the Federal government in realisation that broadband is one of the basic foundations of digital economy and a key driver of economy, developed the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP), which was unveiled and launched by President Buhari on the 19th of March, 2020 to replace the initial Broadband Plan which expired in 2018.
The Minister who further noted that the new broadband plan which seeks to deliver data download speeds across the country at a minimum of 25Mbps in urban areas, and 10Mbps in rural areas, with effective coverage available to at least 90% of the population and penetration rate of 70% by 2025 at a price not more than N390 per 1GB of data, will also target the deployment of nationwide fibre coverage to reach all State Capitals.
Pantami who also disclosed that the Nigerian National Broadband Plan which is anchored on Infrastructure; Policy; Demand Drivers; Funding and Incentives, would create opportunities for job creation and give the country a push into economic prosperity.
The Minister who also said that the issue of high cost and non-harmonization of Right of Way (RoW) fees is a major problem,added that reducing the RoW charges can significantly boost economic activities in the States, far more than the boost that can be received from payments for high RoW charges.
In his remarks, the Chief Executive Officer, 21st Century Technologies, Mr. Wale Ajisebutu who said that the bold step being taken by the state government would form a critical part of the Nigerian history for many years to come, added that the project would help reduce overpopulation in the rural areas by creating digital jobs in rural areas.
Ajisebutu while adding that the project would help the state to generate more taxes for the state, said that the project would contribute 100 billion to the GDP of the state in the next five years.
In his remarks, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Information Communication Technology, Dayo Abiodun who noted that the project which will be the first of its kind in the country, will bring numerous advantages such as improving government service delivery using electronic channels and encouraging a knowledge based society to the state.