Jonathan promises full implementation of national broadband roadmap

By The Citizen

President Goodluck Jonathan has pledged that his administration will take immediate steps to fully implement the report of the Presidential Committee on a National Broadband Strategy and Roadmap which submitted its report yesterday.

Speaking after receiving the report yesterday, president Jonathan said the successful implementation of the National Broadband Strategy and Roadmap will help to positively revolutionize communications in Nigeria.

According to the President the committee's view that broadband is to the 21st century information age what electricity was to the industrial age represents his conviction and he would give his full  support to ensure that Nigeria is wholly integrated into the global digital communications network.

The president said 'any country that lags behind in the current age of ICT will miss a lot. That is why we have created a separate Ministry of Communications Technology to facilitate the establishment of the best digital communications infrastructure in Nigeria and optimize our adoption of global best practices in the use of information and communications technology.

'I thank you for your work and I assure you that the report will be adopted by government and implementation will begin immediately because our people are hungry for information and we are in a hurry to fully integrate our country into the digital communications age,' the President told members of the committee.

The Committee, which was established in September 2012 to develop a broadband strategy and roadmap for Nigeria, said that the key objectives of the plan which it has evolved are: to promote pervasive broadband deployment in the country; increase broadband adoption and usage and ensure the availability of broadband services at affordable prices to maximize its socio-economic and political benefits.

It is expected that in the 2013-2018 implementation period a five-fold increase in internet and broadband penetration will be achieved in the country.

It is also intended that all state capitals and urban cities will have metro-fibre infrastructure installed within the period.

Speaking with state House correspondents after the submission of the report, the co-chairman of the committee and former executive vice chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Ernest Ndukwe said the committee took into consideration all the factors that would militate against the full implementation of the road map saying that it proposed that the cost of accessing broadband should be affordable to all sector of the country.

He said the key objectives of the broadband plan include the promotion of pervasive broadband deployment, increasing its adoption and usage and ensuring availability of broadband services at affordable prices in order to maximize its political and economic benefits.

The co-chairman noted that during the period of the plan, there would be a fivefold increase in internet and broadband penetration in the country with the installation of metro fibre infrastructure in all state capitals and urban centres in order for Nigerian citizens to enjoy world class wireless broadband as a basic access medium for the society.

The report was  was jointly presented to the president by the Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson and the Co-Chairmen of the Committee, Dr. Ernest Ndukwe and Mr. Jim Ovia.