3 January 2013

Nigeria Achieved Increased Access to ICTs in 2012, Says Minister

Taking a retrospect of the activities of the Ministry of Communications Technology in just one year and five months of its existence as a ministry, the Minister said so much was achieved.

In a statement of the ministry's achievements in 2012, the Minister, Mrs. Omobola Johnson said the ministry achieved remarkable progress in facilitating increased access to Information and Communications Technology (ICTs), as teledensity ratio increased in fixed line access from 0.51 per cent in 2011 to 1.5 per cent in 2012, projecting that the ratio will increase to 10 per cent by 2015. According to her, the ratio of mobile subscriptions increased from 68.49 per cent in 2011 to 71.54 per cent in 2012, projecting that the ratio will increase to 97.69 per cent by 2015.

She said access of rural population to ICTs increased from 1.5 per cent in 2011 to 1.65 per cent in 2012, while mobile phone coverage in the rural areas stood at 40 per cent in 2012 and is expected to hit 60 per cent by 2015 and 100 per cent by 2017.

In the area of broadband, she said speed of broadband access increased from 1.0 per cent in 2011 to 1.8 per cent in 2012, and that it would increase to 5.0 per cent by 2015, and that cost of broadband subscription (3GB package/yr), reduced from N93, 000 to N72, 000 in 2012, and projected that it would further drop by 50 per cent in 2015. In the area of personal device ownership penetration, Johnson said "ownership rate in personal computers currently stands at 4.5 per cent and that it is expected to increase to 12 per cent by 2015, while ownership of mobile devices rate in the country stands at 60 per cent, which is expected to increase to 80 per cent by 2015.

The ministry's achievement in the area of contents and applications according to the minister, showed that the number of government services delivered online increased from 10 per cent in 2011 to 30 per cent in 2012, with a projection of 100 per cent by 2015. The number of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government with effective websites increased from 370 in 2011 to 420 in 2012. By 2015, all the MDAs will have effective websites, the minister said.

Highlighting some of the achievements of the ministry in 2012, Johnson said the ministry launched a Technology launch pad initiative in December geared at developing the capacities of indigenous software developers in Nigeria. "The initiative will enhance local content growth and deepen technology skills in the IT industry. The goal of the techlaunchpad initiative is to nurture and develop software entrepreneurs to build successful software companies that will support critical sectors of the Nigerian economy," Johnson said.

She added that the ministry also concluded the development of ICT incubation centres to facilitate software development in Nigeria, and that two centres would be up and running before end of January 2013 in Lagos and Cross River States. The goal is for the incubation centres to create 25 successful ICT businesses by 2015, she said.

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