Concerns raised about Nigeria's slow ICT development
- Published on 06 June 2012
Concerns about the slow pace of ICT development in Nigeria have been raised by officials, who say more funding should be directed towards technology advancement.
Nigeria's Communications and Technology Minister, Omobola Johnson, said the pace of ICT growth in Africa's most populous nation was slow, arguing that the rate of development did not match the approximately 170 million population the country boasts about.
Johnson said although Nigeria has attained 58% mobile telecommunication penetration, this does not compare favourably with other African countries, such as South Africa and Egypt, which have over 100% connection rates.
She said even with an Internet user population of 45 million people, according to Internet World Stats, internet subscriptions stand about 3.6 per cent, figures which indicate that majority of Nigerians accessed the Internet from cybercafés and other public sources.
“Most Nigerians are excluded from the growth and development that can be aided by Information and Communication Technology,” said Johnson.
“There is over 7.78 Terabytes of Internet capacity on the shores of Nigeria from four main undersea fibre optic cables. We have challenges in getting this capacity inland,” she added.
But despite its low internet penetration rate, the country ranks among the top 20 nations in the world regarding their number users who have access to the web.
Internet World Stats has Nigeria 11th in the world regarding its number of users, coming immediately after France, which has an internet population of 50.29 million and just before Mexico with 42 million people.