- Sunday, 02 February 2014
Government Policy and Postal Courier Service
The dual role of the Nigeria Postal Service NIPOST, as a regulator and operator compromises its effectiveness. NIPOST also faces substantial competition from private sector operators in the postal sector. International and local courier companies and transport companies are competing with NIPOST in various segments of the postal market; not only in the market for courier items, but also in the letter and parcel markets. To date, approximately 250 courier firms have been legally licensed. However, many transport companies (legal and illegal) are active in the postal market.
Government Policy and Cyber Security
Major Challenges facing the country in the area of ICT development include cyber crime and underutilization of ICTs for strengthening overall national security. There is no Certified Emergency Response Team (CERT), nor electronic authentication framework. The lack of appropriate legislation and coordination of the activities of various security arms of government continue to militate against implementation of effective measures to combat cyber crime. Government intends to address the formidable privacy, capacity, and content challenges to ensure the potentials are realized.
Government Policy and Broadband Service
Although there are some initiatives aimed a t deploying broadband in Nigeria, many challenges remain, especially with the deployment of a national fiber optic based network to distribute approximately 10 terabytes of capacity already delivered to landing points in Nigeria. Therefore, there is an urgent need to accelerate the pace of ongoing efforts, and also to introduce new initiatives to address this and other challenges. This is necessary for the actualization of the developmental goals of vision 20:2020. The Government will therefore pursue, by the end of 2017, a fivefold increase in broadband penetration over the 2012 penetration rate. Government Policy Strategies will include:
- Provide periodic review of the broadband penetration targets in order to determine further action for broadband expansion;
- Promote both supply, and demand side policies that create incentives for broadband backbone and access network deployment;
- Facilitate broadband development and deployment, leveraging on existing universal service frameworks;
- Provide special incentives to operators to encourage them to increase their investment in broadband rollout;
- Promote e-Government and other e-services that would foster broadband usages;
- Enhance the equitable distribution of the value and/or benefits of telecoms infrastructure (in general) and broadband (in particular) amongst the Nigerian population. Enhance the capabilities of the Nigerian population to make use of, and contribute to broadband, and in so doing increase its relevance to the socio economic development of the country and its populace;
- Establish a methodology for assessing progress of broadband development in Nigeria in a structured way that (i) highlights and
Government Policy and Hardware Development
Hardware is required to unlock the value of software tools and applications. It has the potential to form a major part of an economy that supports the innovative output of Nigerian developers. Government will endeavour to ensure that by the end of 2015, at least 50% of Personal Computers in use within Nigeria will be made in Nigeria; and by the end of 2017, 50% of internet-enabled devices used within Nigeria will be made in Nigeria. The hardware market in Nigeria is currently shared between global multinationals and about five local Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs)
Analysts project that the Nigerian PC market, which is still in its infancy, is expected to expand by 21.5% annually on average from 2009 to 2014, with a notable shift towards mobility which would increase sales of laptops, and other mobile devices. Approximately 90% of the software used in Nigeria is being imported. However, efforts are being made to encourage the patronage of “Made in Nigeria Software” to leverage the low entry barriers inherent in the sector, and to grow a local software NIPOST is the dominant operator and regulator of the sector. It has a network of 1,065 post offices and more than 3,000 additional postal agencies distributed across 547 of the 774 local government areas in Nigeria. This extensive network penetration into rural areas along with the variety of services offered, have enabled NIPOST to serve as a platform for the promotion of social, financial and digital inclusion. There are 250 licensed courier operators in the country, in addition to a large number of courier grey market operators. As at the end of 2010 the annual turnover of the industry was over Three Hundred and Fifty Billion Naira (=N= 350,000,000,000).
Government Policy and ICT Software Development
ICT local content (including software and hardware) remains grossly under developed in Nigeria. Although many reasons are adduced for this -including the high cost of production and scarcity of expertise –the fact remains that there is an over-dependence on foreign importation of software and hardware and this has led to diminished opportunity for domestic economic empowerment ,and contributed to limited capacity building within the context of ICT. In addition, given the quantum of hardware devices, and software applications imported into, and used within Nigeria, there has been considerable drain on Nigeria’s foreign exchange. Therefore, there is the urgent need to boost domestic participation in the ICT industry by incentivizing local hardware and software companies to increase local content. The software industry is a multi-billion dollar industry and Nigeria can benefit tremendously from developing its own domestic software industry to create applications for aspects of human endeavour including Agriculture (e – agriculture), Business (e-business), Education (e-learning), Government (e-government), Health (e-Health) etc. This can cater for both domestic and export markets.
Government Policy and Telephony
For instance, the national installed capacity has moved from approximately 400,000 available fixed telephone lines pre-1999 to over 90.5 million available mobile telephone lines by the first quarter of 2011, making Nigeria’s telecommunications market the fastest growing in Africa. There is now modest ICT deployment in the functioning of government organizations, as well as in the private sector. In addition, ICT now drives fairly significant breadth of activities in the financial and oil and gas sectors while various e-Government initiatives are ongoing in various departments across the three tiers of government. The growth in subscriber lines and tele-density has been very impressive. From a modest start of about 400,000 fixed and 25,000 mobile telephone lines in 2001, the industry by July 2011 had an active base of about 90 million subscribers representing a tele-density of 60. This growth was the result of continued uptake of digital mobile services, (with about 98% market share) and the adoption of a Unified Licensing Regime.
Government Policy and Broadcasting
Based on ITU recommendations, Nigeria, along with other countries has committed to transit from analogue to digital terrestrial broadcasting and broadcasting on the VHF band. Consequently, the Commission has set a June 17, 2015 deadline for the switchover from analogue to digital broadcasting. The advent of digital broadcasting will undoubtedly increase the number of channels and introduce a diverse range of content. The NBC will therefore require a more robust approach to the critical content regulation of the broadcast sector.
Broadcasting plays a very important role in the lives of the citizens worldwide and is the most effective means of reaching the largest number of people simultaneously<./p>
The Federal, Regional and State governments monopolized broadcasting in Nigeria, until the promulgation of Decree 38 of 1992 (as amended) which established the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and charged it with the responsibility of regulating and controlling the broadcasting industry in the country. The law empowers the Commission to license broadcast stations, allocate frequencies, regulate content and, generally set standards for quality broadcasting in the country.
Today, as a result of the deregulation of the Nigerian broadcast industry, the number of Federal, State and private broadcasting stations in operation in the country has, as at 2012, risen to 291, from less than 30 before deregulation. This comprises of:
- .100 radio stations;
- 147 Television stations;
- 35 Cable Retransmission Stations known as MMDS;
- 4 Direct to Home (DTH) Stations.