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UK, Nigeria Partner To Develop New 6-Year National Broadband Plan

L-R: The Honourable Minister for Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isah Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), the British Deputy High Commissioner in Lagos, Ms Harriet Thompson and Head of the UK Government’s Digital Access Programme, Mr Idongesit Udoh during the Letter of Intent signing in Abuja… yesterday.

The British Government, through the Prosperity Fund’s Digital Access Programme is collaborating with the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy to develop a new six years National Broadband Development Plan.

The previous National Broadband Plan (2013 -2018) expired on the 31st of December 2018.

The project will require a mix of technical expertise for supporting the drafting of the plan, conducting outreach activities and facilitating of technical retreats as well as related events for stakeholder engagement.

These activities will generate essential inputs for the process of drafting a robust plan that will be implementable and will usher-in broad economic development.

Speaking during the Letter of Intent signing at the Federal Ministry of Communications Headquarter in Abuja, the British Deputy High Commissioner, Ms Harriet Thompson, said “This project contributes to the UK Government’s Prosperity Fund objective of promoting inclusive, affordable, accessible, safe and secure internet access for the socio-economic development of underserved communities in Nigeria”

L-R: The Head of the UK Government’s Digital Access Programme, Mr Idongesit Udoh, the Honourable Minister for Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isah Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), the British Deputy High Commissioner in Lagos, Ms Harriet Thompson and the Permanent Secretary, Minister for Communications and Digital Economy, Mr Musa Istifanus at the signing ceremony in Abuja… yesterday.

The Head of the UK Government’s Digital Access Programme, Mr Idongesit Udoh, said “The new broadband plan is expected to raise the broadband penetration level in Nigeria to between 65% – 66% over the next six (6) years. It will provide national leadership and strategic sectorial direction for country-wide broadband connectivity and provide a basis for a more thriving digital ecosystem and inclusive economic development.”

The project is expected to be concluded by the 31st of March, 2020.

The Honourable Minister for Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isah Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), welcomed the partnership and expressed appreciation for the UK Government’s support in growing the Nigeria’s tech ecosystem which will in turn grow the Nigerian economy.

Dr. Isah said the Tech sector in Nigeria is adding more to the Nigerian economy and expressed optimism that the new broadband plan when developed and implemented will promote inclusive economic growth in Nigeria.

The Digital Access Programme is a UK Government Prosperity Fund flagship initiative led by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and delivered in partnership with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS). 

The programme covers countries: Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Brazil and Indonesia.

The objective of the Programme is to catalyse affordable, inclusive, safe and secure digital access for underserved or excluded populations

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