Broadband Penetration Slow, But on Track, Says Opeke

By Emma Okonji

The Co-Chairman, Nigeria National Broadband Plan (NNBP), and CEO of MainOne Broadband Company, Ms. Funke Opeke, has said although Nigeria is not moving as fast as it should in its broadband target, the country is however on track towards achieving the target of 90 per cent coverage of the entire population of Nigeria and penetration rate of 70 per cent by 2025.

Opeke said this during an interview with journalists, shortly after the close of the 2021 NerdsUnite forum, organised by MainOne in Lagos recently.

According to her, “I recognise that the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy has made a commitment that Nigeria would achieve 90 per cent coverage of the country’s population.

“The minister’s commitment towards achieving that target, represents the aspirations of industry stakeholders and Nigerians and we the industry players are ready and willing to contribute our quota towards achieving the set broadband target.”

Opeke commended the minister for his initiatives and consistence in driving digital transformation in Nigeria.

Speaking about the effect of the COVID-19 on businesses, Opeke said the pandemic was never anticipated and that the impact on the Nigerian economy has been huge. She also said the impact on capital investments into the Nigerian economy have also been huge, a situation, she added, could only be addressed through the fast adoption of emerging technologies that would drive digital transformation.

She called for more investments in broadband infrastructure that would accelerate digital transformation. She acknowledged the fact that security risks, as currently seen in most parts of the country, could impede innovation.

“We need infrastructure and growing talent pool to drive digital innovation and transformation. The security challenges are there but operators are showing strong resilience.

“I see huge potential in Nigerian youths, I see huge potential in the Nigerian Information and Communications Technology (ICT) market and I expect to see investors that will tap into these huge potential and drive digital acceleration in Nigeria,” Opeke further said.

Speaking about the importance of critical data and data centre management, Opeke said successful data generation will assist in academic research and data analytics for online transaction.

She further said such data were housed and managed locally or internationally, adding that the MDXi Data Centre, which is MainOne’s flagship data centre that was established in Lekki, Lagos in 2015, had been able to host and manage critical data of different organisations. She said effective management of data would enhance accelerated growth in digital transformation. She further explained that MainOne has extended its data centre facility to Apollonia City in Accra, Ghana, and that the Appolonia Data Centre would be launched today in Ghana.

Opeke said the importance of NerdsUnite annual event, was to engage stakeholders, partners and customers in the region to highlight tropical issues about what is changing in the environment and the opportunities that abound in the digital space.

“This year we were not able to have a physical event, hence we had the webinar event and achieved the same purpose,” she said

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