- Sunday, 02 February 2014
This National ICT Policy aims to produce a framework that will enhance the ability of the ICT sector to propel the socio-economic development which is critical to Nigeria’s vision of becoming a top 20 economy by the year 2020. Concurrently, the policy document will be used to develop action plans, sub-sectoral policies and specific implementation strategies.
The National ICT policy addresses 23 thematic areas that are of critical importance, including Policy and Regulatory framework, Internet and Broadband development, Local content, Coordinated ICT development across all sectors, National Security and safety amongst others. To deliver on the stated objectives a government institutional structure comprising of the following is captured within the ICT policy:
Prior to 1999, development in the ICT sector of Nigeria was generally assessed to be far below expectation, for a country of its size and resources. For example, total fixed telephone lines we re less than 400,000 while regular internet users were less than 200,000. From a policy and regulatory standpoint, the Federal Government of Nigeria adopted the National Telecommunications Policy (NTP) in 2000 to guide the development of the telecommunicate ions industry in Nigeria. This was followed by the enactment of the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA) 2003 to give legal effect to the NTP. Previously, the National Mass Communications Policy recommended the creation of a regulatory body to regulate Broadcasting and this led to the promulgation of Decree 38 of 1992 that established the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).
In a similar vein, the National Information Technology Policy was approved in 2001 to guide the IT industry in Nigeria, and was followed by the enactment of the National Information Technology Development Agency Act 2007, which provided the legal platform for the creation of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA). It is noteworthy that there has never been an national postal policy; however, Decree No. 41 of 1992 established the Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST) to provide postal services in Nigeria.
These policy and regulatory developments along with other government and private sector initiatives have resulted in significant improvement of the ICT sector.
The Communications sector has actively contributed to Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The percentage share of GDP from Communications, according to NCC, rose from 0.06 in 1999 to 2.39 in 2007, 2.90 in 2008, and 3.66 in 2009. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) report on the year 2011 performance of the various sectors of the country’s economy, stated that the ICT sector’s growth at 35 per cent, makes it the fastest growing sector of the Nigerian economy. The combined ICT sector contributed 5.46% to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2011.Private investment in the telecoms subsector rose from US$50 million in the year 1999,to US$18.0 billion, at the end of 2009 and to about $25 billion at the end of 2010.
Some of the achievements in the telecom sector have been supported by extensive optical fiber projects across the country, as well as the deployment of satellite communications. The NCC initiated the Wire Nigeria Project (WIN), and the States Accelerated Broadband Initiative (SABI).The USPF is a mechanism to extend service to unserved and underserved areas of the country. The NCC contributes 40% of Annual Operating Levy (AOL) received to the Fund.