Nigeria ranked 11th in internet penetration globally: Danbatta

Umar Danbatta, the executive vice-chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), says Nigeria is rated eleventh in internet penetration and seventh in mobile phone usage globally.

Mr Danbatta disclosed this at the Emerging Technology Forum for the telecommunications industry opening ceremony on Thursday in Abuja.

The theme of the two-day forum is: “Contextualising the Network Readiness Index (NRI) for the Nigerian Telecommunications Industry”.

“Our nation rates eleventh globally in terms of internet penetration and seventh in terms of mobile phone usage,” the NCC boss said.

Mr Danbatta, represented by Abraham Oshadami, head of Spectrum Database Management, NCC, said the global data collected by the NRI team revealed digital transformation was a global imperative to maximise the social and economic effects of the digital era.

He said the NIR explored the performances of 131 economies in four categories: Technology (infrastructure), governance, people, and impact.

The NCC boss said, “Nigeria is a telecommunications powerhouse, with 82 per cent of the continent’s telecom subscribers and 29 per cent of the continent’s internet consumption.

“The global data collected by the NRI team reveals that digital transformation is a global imperative in order to maximise the social and economic effects of the digital era.

“Despite these remarkable metrics, the fact that our Network Readiness Index (NRI) ranking for 2022 is 109th out of 131 countries is both humbling and challenging.”

Mr Danbatta said that as agents of social and economic transformation in the nation, prioritising network readiness was a strategic necessity and a mandate.

“It can create new inequalities which can hinder the ability of younger generations to engage in the digital economy but also remains a powerful way to do more with less at all levels of income.

“Formal education is evolving, and metrics are important to support informed policymaking,” Mr Danbatta added.

He further called on the stakeholders to grasp the opportunity to investigate emerging technologies, envisage their potential applications, and determine how they can leverage them to solve specific challenges.

In his opening remarks, Chidi Diugwu, head of New Media and Information Security, NCC, urged the stakeholders to embrace insights offered by NRI to guide policies, investments and collaborations.

Mr Diugwu said this would enable the nation to harness emerging technologies’ potential, invest in human capital, and foster innovation.

He added that this would lead to unlocking new opportunities, bridge the digital divide, and create a prosperous and inclusive digital future for Nigeria.

In his remarks, the Executive-Commissioner, Technical Services, NCC, Ubale Maska, said NRI was a strong indicator of how the country adapted to the worldwide digital transformation.


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