Nigeria’s Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo
While speaking at the 3rd Minsteral Performance Review Retreat held on Tuesday, the 18th of October 2022, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said that several improvements have been made in Nigeria’s digital economy. He noted that under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, 4G coverage across the country improved from 23 percent to 77.52 percent.
He also noted that in the last two years alone, Nigeria’s broadband coverage has improved from 33.7 percent to 44.65 percent. He also highlighted the biggest contributors to Nigeria’s digital economy and some of them are the deployment of the 5G technology and the meteorological growth of the Nigerian tech startup space which has produced Unicorns like Flutterwave, OPay, Andela, Interswitch, Jumia, Paystack, and Piggyvest.
He went on to emphasize how the digital economy is one of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration’s major achievements, adding that the meteoric expansion of broadband access drove change. According to him, “in August 2019, the broadband coverage was 33.7 percent and today it is 44.65 percent, representing close to 13 million new broadband users. There were 13,823 4G base stations and we now have 36,751, representing a 165.86 percent increase.”
“The percentage of 4G coverage across the country also increased from 23 percent to 77.52 percent. The expansion has also been helped by the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy directly engaging.”
On the country’s 5G ambition and how beneficial it would be, he said that “We now have Presidential approval for the 5G policy. In terms of density, 4G allows connection to about 1 million devices in 500 square kilometers, while 5G will allow the same number of devices in just 1 square kilometer. There are also very fast data rates of the 5G and more efficient energy usage.
He also stated that the cost of data had reduced from N1,200 per GB to about N360 today, making it easier for more Nigerians to gain access to the internet. “Now the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy has embarked on the National Information and Communications Technology Infrastructure Backbone II (NICTIB II) to connect 20 states with fiber optics that had not been connected in NICTIB I,” the Vice President added.