Speaking at a recent industry forum, Johnson noted that the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector contributes just over 8 per cent to GDP at present but that achieving targets of a five-fold increase in broadband penetration by 2017, which is from 6 per cent to 30 per cent, will enable the sector to deliver through broadband, a phenomenal 3 per cent increase in GDP.
She explained that the National Broadband Strategy and Roadmap would articulate how the ministry would deliver the broadband through targeting local government by local government and state by state.
“When you transform lives, you transform a nation and that is the power of broadband. The often-quoted statistic of a 10 per cent increase in broadband penetration is delivering a 1.3 per cent increase in GDP is not an empty statistic. Broadband can increase business productivity and lead to the creation of new businesses and jobs, while delivering the much needed skills in a developing nation.”
However, she disclosed that the ministry could not build the infrastructure without the support and partnership of state governors, even as the minister acknowledged that Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola, Akwa Ibom Governor, Godswill Akpabio and Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi have been most supportive in the broadband cause.
“If the truth be told, this is a classic case of enlightened self -interest. Allowing infrastructure to be built quickly and cost effectively in their states delivers all the benefits I just outlined above. The states are more competitive as businesses are thriveing, tax revenue and other Internal Generated Revenue (IGR) to develop the state to make it grow are increasing regularly.”
Also speaking, Chief Executive Officer of Main One, Ms Funke Opeke, reiterated that
there was need to ensure that broadband penetrated the rural areas.
Opeke maintained that with a high speed internet, both people’s life and the economy would be transformed for the best, stressing that it was paramount for the sector’s regulators to ensure that all bottlenecks hindering broadband penetration were quickly tackled.