By; NIYI OGUNGBOLA Abeokuta
The Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday said that Ogun State has become a major global site of the emerging telecommunication economy through its judicious Investment in the right infrastructure.
According to him, the federal government would continue to do all it can to democratise access to the internet, just as it said that it recognises the fact that internet access and broadband Communication will help the country in determining it’s competitiveness in the global economy.
Professor Osinbajo stated this during the launch of Ogun State Digital Economy Empowerment Project(OGDEP), held at the Ogun Tech Hub, Abeokuta.
He described Prince Dapo Abiodun as a dynamic, innovative and digitally compliant governor, adding that by bringing broadband access to homes, the Prince Dapo Abiodun led government in the state is opening up the state residences and businesses to DigiTech not only in the country, but across the world.
Osinbajo noted that the project is part of the President Muhammad Buhari’s objective for broadband connectivity for every citizens of the country,
adding that, the ambition to make broadband available to the people is now enshrined in the economic sustainability plan of the federal government.
The Vice President who also added that the Federal Government launched the National Broadband Plan which is designed to deliver data download speed of a minimum of 25mbps in urban areas and 10mbps in rural areas, added that the plan would make coverage available to at least 90% of the population by 2025 at affordable prices.
In his address , the Ogun State Governor,Prince Dapo Abiodun said that his administration would remain committed towards providing the required infrastructure to boost all aspects of the state economy.
He added also that the construction of the Agro Cargo International Airport is part of the wholesome strategy of his administration towards developing air transport infrastructure, especially to boost the Agricultural Development Agenda of his administration.
Abiodun also disclosed that his administration is unfolding its power infrastructural project that would guarantee stable power supply to most of the cities and industrial clusters, adding that the digital economy infrastructure being the backbone for ICT revolution in the State would further enhance the ease of doing business in the State.
He further disclosed that the effort of his administration at providing a digital economy in the State will not only help to resolve challenges, both human and economic, but would also provide more opportunities to improve the people’s know-how, productivity and innovations.
Abiodun while noting that the launch of the Ogun State Digital Economy Infrastructure Project (OGDEIP) would help to deepen the various advantages of information technology advancements into all sectors as well as make ICT one indispensable part of the state economy, added that his administration is also putting efforts in place towards improving the status of the state as the Industrial Hub of the nation.
The Governor while noting that the first phase of the project would require laying the foundation for increased broadband connectivity, added that the Project would also see to the establishment of a world class data center along the Silicon Alley in the state capital that will host a variety of ICT services both for the public and private sectors.
Abiodun who also noted his administration is taking practical steps towards integrating technology into its practices and businesses, said that the project would also feature the completion of an ICT Park donated by Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) along the same route which will house world class technology centers for cutting edge technology research and development.
The Governor who also added that his administration has begun deploying electronic document management systems, e-procurement tools and digitized revenue collection platforms towards improving the efficiency and reducing leakages in all the state Ministries, Departments and Agencies, added that the introduction of digital technologies have also started to yield positive results and improve on justice and the improvement of the system of administration of justice in the State.
In his remarks, the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy; Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami who noted the Digital Economy has played a critical role in supporting the economy of the country as well as played an important role in helping the country to exit recession, added that the digital economy would provide the datafication of the society, create jobs and wealth for the people and also increase the level of innovation in the country.
Pantami who further added that the Federal government in realisation that broadband is one of the basic foundations of digital economy and a key driver of economy, developed the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP), which was unveiled and launched by President Buhari on the 19th of March, 2020 to replace the initial Broadband Plan which expired in 2018.
According to the Minister the new broadband plan which seeks to deliver data download speeds across the country at a minimum of 25Mbps in urban areas, and 10Mbps in rural areas, with effective coverage available to at least 90% of the population and penetration rate of 70% by 2025 at a price not more than N390 per 1GB of data, will also target the deployment of nationwide fibre coverage to reach all State Capitals.
Pantami further stated that the Nigerian National Broadband Plan which is anchored on Infrastructure; Policy; Demand Drivers; Funding and Incentives, would create opportunities for job creation and give the country a push into economic prosperity.
He said that the issue of high cost and non-harmonization of Right of Way (RoW) fees is a major problem,addlng that reducing the RoW charges can significantly boost economic activities in the States, far more than the boost that can be received from payments for high RoW charges.
In his remarks, the Chief Executive Officer, 21st Century Technologies, Mr. Wale Ajisebutu said that the bold step being taken by the state government would form a critical part of the Nigerian history for many years to come.
According to him, the project would help reduce overpopulation in the rural areas by creating digital jobs in rural areas.
“The project would help the state to generate more taxes for the state, said that the project would contribute 100 billion to the GDP of the state in the next five years” Ajisebutu added.