Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo made this disclosure today while addressing stakeholders at the Forum Opening Conversation of the ongoing International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Telecom World Forum 2012 holding in Dubai UAE.
Arc Sambo, who represented the president at the event, stated that for the real sector to function efficiently and prosper, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure must be available and that the federal government has, last year, successful launched the NigComSat–1R Satellite, a hybrid satellite for broadcast, telecommunications and navigational services with footprints in over 35 African countries, parts of Europe, and parts of Asia and that satellite would be used to accelerate broadband penetration in difficult-to-reach areas and provide improved speed and quality of service.
The vice president further stated that in line with the national policy on ICT, Nigeria was set to harness the potentials of the ICT industry and has made broadband a priority policy area. “The Government of Nigeria is committed to achieving this because, like many other governments, it is convinced by the evidence that shows that access to broadband extends into many areas like health, education, finance, trade, governance, security ” he said.
Arc Sambo furthermore stated that Nigeria, at the inception of GSM operations had only about 867,000 subscribers in 2001, but today she has more than 105 million active mobile GSM subscribers, over 45% Nigerians are connected to the internet and the federal government was keen on capitalizing upon it “to build a robust, secure, high-speed, nation-wide communications network that allows accessing the Internet to become a way of life for most Nigerians.”
The vice president expressed the Nigeria’s Government appreciation to the United Arab Emirates for hosting the annual event.
Earlier the ITU Secretary-general Hamadoun Toure has lauded Nigeria’s Giant strides in the Information and Communication industry where Nigeria has for five years in a row ranked first in mobile penetration growth, which was key indicator of the fact that policy has been condusive and consistent in the sector He described Nigeria as one of the giants in Africa and that has woken up and ready for business.
In a related development, the Vice President who was at the Leaders’ Lunch organized by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to host stakeholders in the industry, called on collaboration among all stakeholders in the ICT industry.
While at the lunch the vice president remarked that the ICT sector could not grow in an island and that to give it an added value, the federal government was bent on providing adequate power supply through exploring various alternative sources of power which included hydro thermal, solar, wind and waste-to-power. He stated that already Nigeria had increased her power generation from about 2000mw at the inception of the administration to around 4,300mw now and that the ten new thermal power plants that were at an advance stage of completion, would add about 5,000mw to the National Grid when completed. Other power plant projects included the Zungeru, and the Mambila hydro power projects whose designs and contract documentation had been completed and would have the capacity to produce about 3,500mw and 700mw of power respectively. The vice president also stated that the FG has entered into an agreement with SIEMENS to generate about 450mw of solar power, and several other pilot projects such as wind-to-power and garbage to energy, and that already Lagos State in the country was now experiencing steady power supply.
Arc Sambo further stated that education was also receiving a boost as nine more new federal universities had been established to add to the existing 124 universities in the country and that the federal government was collaborating with the state governments and other stakeholders to improve the standard of primary and secondary education with deliberate emphasis on science and technical education.