No fewer than 40 million Nigerians in 200 communities across the country are being deprived access to the internet, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said on Monday.
The Executive Vice Chairman at the commission, Prof Umar Danbatta, who made the disclosure while declaring open the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Annual Regional Workshop in Abuja, said the development was as a result of coverage gap in the communities.
According to Danbatta, the NCC was making efforts to bridge the gap in the communities in no time.
“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.”
“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 cognizance of the elements of digital transformation system because we have to start somewhere,” he said.
The NCC boss decried the poor internet speed in the country, pointing out that the standard for internet speed in the country, which is 1.5 megabytes per second, was only obtainable in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt.
He said the local government he hails from has a connectivity speed of 500 kilobytes per second, adding that the inability of some locations in the country to have the standard 1.5 megabytes per second internet connectivity speed was attributable to poor infrastructure.
Danbatta charged the workshop to come up with ideas on how to tackle the problem.