Coverage gaps in 200 communities across the country deprive more than 40 million people access to the Internet, the Nigerian Communications Commission has said.
The Executive Vice Chairman at NCC, Prof Umar Danbatta, said this in Abuja on Monday at the annual International Telecommunications Union regional capacity building workshop hosted by the Digital Bridge Institute.
Danbata said the regulatory agency was working on an intervention that would bridge the gap in the communities at the fastest time possible. He said, “Access is very important. Talking about access, I don’t know the experience in other parts of the world especially the Africa continent but here in Nigeria, we have 200 access gaps and we know where these gaps are.
“These access gaps deprive close to 40 million people access to the Internet. We need to look at what we can do to fast-track blocking these access gaps because unless and until we do so, many of our citizens will continue to live without access to the Internet, especially the right kind of Internet connectivity.”
He added, “We are trying to make sure we are not left out in benefiting from the various important features of the fourth industrial revolution. While we are doing this, we are taking cognisance of the elements of digital transformation system because we have to start somewhere. “How do we generate that critical mass of the Information Communication Technology adoption and use so that by so doing increase Internet and broadband penetration?
“The NCC through the Digital Bridge Institute funds interventions aimed at providing training particularly to teachers in our tertiary institutions so that they can leverage the power of ICT to improve content delivery to be able to access all relevant materials from the Internet.” Danbatta said the essence was to provide the connectivity that was easily accessible and available to the masses.
Speaking at the event, the Administrator of the Digital Bridge Institute, Dr Ike Adinde, said that the more ICT skills available to youths in the country, the better for the economy.