The British Government, through the Prosperity Fund’s Digital Access Programme is collaborating with the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy to develop a new six years National Broadband Development Plan.
The previous National Broadband Plan (2013 -2018) expired on the 31st of December 2018.
The project will require a mix of technical expertise for supporting the drafting of the plan, conducting outreach activities and facilitating of technical retreats as well as related events for stakeholder engagement, officials from the two countries said on Saturday.
These activities will generate essential inputs for the process of drafting a robust plan that will be implementable and will usher-in broad economic development, they added.
Speaking during the ‘Letter of Intent’ signing at the Federal Ministry of Communications Headquarters in Abuja, the British Deputy High Commissioner, Harriet Thompson, said “This project contributes to the UK Government’s Prosperity Fund objective of promoting inclusive, affordable, accessible, safe and secure internet access for the socio-economic development of underserved communities in Nigeria”
The Head of the UK Government’s Digital Access Programme, Idongesit Udoh, said “The new broadband plan is expected to raise the broadband penetration level in Nigeria to between 65% – 66% over the next six (6) years. It will provide national leadership and strategic sectorial direction for country-wide broadband connectivity and provide a basis for a more thriving digital ecosystem and inclusive economic development.”
The project is expected to be concluded by the 31st of March, 2020.
The Minister for Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, welcomed the partnership and expressed appreciation for the UK Government’s support in growing the Nigeria’s tech ecosystem which will in turn grow the Nigerian economy.
Dr. Pantami said the tech sector in Nigeria is adding more to the Nigerian economy and expressed optimism that the new broadband plan when developed and implemented will promote inclusive economic growth in Nigeria.