Published as FARA Research Report Volume 5 No: 10 (2020).
Download the report here.
Optic fibre infrastructure offers huge Internet broadband (IBB) capacities. However, Internet broadband penetration in Nigeria is still miserably low. For several factors, Internet access today in Nigeria is 99% by wireless mobile networks. There is a general absence of government’s nationwide direct investment in optic fibre cable infrastructure. Such investments in partnership with the private sector would have reduced retain end Internet access cost. By 2016, 93% of the urban respondents, 86% of the rural respondents and 89% of the full sample had access to mobile phones. By March 2016, there were 92,424,736 Internet subscribers in Nigeria. Comparing 2016 and 2010, urban internet access moved up to 29% from 11.6%; rural internet access increased from 1.5% to 9.8% and the national internet access increased from 3.6% to 17.4%. The top use of the Internet was to send/receive emails among the urban (46.3%), rural (45.0%) and all (45.8%) users. The use of Internet for banking services was a dismal result among urban (0.4%), rural (0.5%) and all (0.4%) users. The Federal Ministry of Communications (FMC) formulates policy on communications, while the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) implements policies on telecommunications. Numerous challenges have slowed the growth of the telecom infrastructure in Nigeria, namely, high cost of the right of way, multiple regulatory bodies, lengthy processing of right of way, conflicting agreements at federal and state levels with operators, cable theft and road works leading to damages to fibre installations/infrastructure, erratic grid electricity supply, fragile backbone infrastructure and limited investment in IBB industry. Four case studies were implemented, two at organizational levels and two at the end-users level. The organizational interviews were granted by Kitovu and FarmCrowdy.