LAGOS, NIGERIA – Nigeria has achieved 80 per cent phone penetration since the liberalization of the country’s telecommunications sector eight years ago, Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) CEO Ernest Ndukwe announced last weekend at a public lecture.
Over 10,000 kilometers of fiber-optic links have been laid across the country, while some operators are already rolling out 3G (third-generation) services, Ndukwe said.
The lecture, entitled “Information and Communications Technology (ICT) as an Effective Tool for Development in Nigeria,” was held in Kaduna, Nigeria, and organized by the Northern Nigeria-based Arewa Youth Forum.
“Since the democratic governance was ushered in on the 29th of May, 1999, the attention of the world returned to Nigeria as the country with the highest potential for investment on the continent, and over $12 billion has been invested by December 2007,” Ndukwe said.
Ndukwe praised the Arewa Youth Forum for choosing ICT as the theme of the lecture and promised that he would continue to encourage and participate in events that promote awareness of ICT’s importance in national development.
“The rapid deployment of digital mobile services across the country and speed at which they are being subscribed to has demonstrated the importance of ICT services to the people,” he said. “Thus, access to telecommunications and information technology holds the key to the nation’s ability to respond to the demands of its position in the new world order.”
The government is conscious of the role ICT can play in national development and is, therefore, committed to the rapid expansion of facilities and services, Ndukwe assured. The NCC is also committed to ensuring a regulatory environment that will accelerate the creation of robust and pervasive ICT infrastructure across the nation in the next few years, he added.
Commending Ndukwe for travelling to the North to educate the youth on ICT’s role in development, the president of the Arewa Youth Forum, Alhaji Gambo Gujungu, took the opportunity to present Ndukwe with a National Development Merit Award.
The forum and the entire North is impressed with the positive impact that the NCC has made in the development of the nation under Ndukwe’s leadership, Gujungu said.