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National broadband target to hit 30% penetration under threat—Minister

The Minister of Communications, Barr Adebayo Shittu has raised fresh alarm, saying “The National Broadband objective to attain 30% broadband penetration goal by 2018 is facing challenges”.

Explaining issues yesterday in Abuja at a conference of cyber security experts, he said “The big question before us today is how can we develop the requisite infrastructure to sustain and increase growth rates and increase broadband penetration levels? Is the environment enabling enough to allow for more infrastructure rollout? The answer rests in how we unlock the supply chain of our Digital Ecosystem”.

According to him, “Lately, we have identified as priority areas for inclusion in the forthcoming budget appropriation: Implementation of regional internet exchange points of presence in order to further actualize nationwide uptake of Broadband service and deepen penetration. Build capacity in inter-city network backbone in furtherance of the plan under consideration”.

“We plan to invest in national connectivity backbone to connect internet exchange points; subsidize connectivity services for education research networks; subsidize international subsea cable landing in the south –south region and create ICT specific infrastructure fund.

Some of the dedicated efforts include working with State Government to implement One-Stop permit rule and harmonized framework for issuance of permit nationwide;   Designation of ICT infrastructure as critical National infrastructure/Passing the critical National Telecom Infrastructure Bill; Passing the local content hosting bill that requires , as a matter of law, that all Nigerian contents are hosted locally;    Formalizing the formation of the National Broadband /ICT Council to incorporate and implement the National Broadband plan; Establishment of National Public Key Infrastructure; and Establishment of Computer Emergency Readiness Response across the Region.

Others are the establishment of Innovation Hubs (ICT Related);      Research and Development Facilities (ICT related); and    Establishment of ICT University.

The Minister however, called on Nigerian members of the international cyber security experts to domesticate what the US has achieved in cyber security science to raise assurance to investors and Nigerians.