Nigeria's New Comms Minister Adebayo Shittu Commits to Improving Broadband Access
The A4AI-Nigeria coalition welcomed the Honourable Abdur-Raheem Adebayo Shittu—the newly appointed Minister of Communication Technology—to the latest coalition meeting. Led by Dr. Omobola Johnson (A4AI Honorary Chair and former Minister of Communication Technology) and Dr. Ernest Ndukwe (National Coordinator of A4AI-Nigeria Coalition and former EVC of the Nigerian Communications Commission), the forum gathered 60 stakeholders to address barriers to connectivity in Nigeria and the country’s progress towards affordable broadband access.
Dr. Johnson noted how such an early outing for the new minister affirms the importance of promoting affordable Internet. She went on to encourage the public to give the minister the same support she enjoyed in that role, and also acknowledged National Coordinator Dr. Ndukwe’s tireless work on behalf of the coalition.
Minister Shittu highlighted the Internet’s role as key driver of economic growth, adding that the administration of President Buhari recognizes the special role ICTs play in society. Attendees engaged the minister in a lively Q&A session that touched on topics such as Nigeria’s readiness for spectrum trading, ICT’s role in agriculture and education, and access to data. The minister committed to continue implementation of the National Broadband Plan and called for proposals on the best way to ensure the internet is available at affordable rates to every Nigerian.
Working groups then had the opportunity to share their progress in the priority areas of spectrum, infrastructure sharing and open access, and consumer advocacy and pricing transparency. View presentations and event documents.
Mrs. Busayo Obisakin, representing the coalition's Consumer Awareness & Pricing Transparency group, shared a personal testimony on how Internet access changed her life and enabled her to start an NGO—the Women Inspiration Development Center. “Access to the Internet is like access to life itself,” she said. We could not agree more.
To learn more about the coalition’s activities and to join a working group, visit the A4AI-Nigeria page.