By Ayomide Oriade
ABUJA – Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami has stated that the federal government is visibly at work to improve digital economy activities in the country.
The Minister made this remark in a congratulatory message to Jumia on its 9 years anniversary celebration, adding that the current administration is building the foundation for a strong digital economy in Nigeria and the effort is already yielding positive results.
His words, “Internet penetration in Nigeria in the last one year is unprecedented. Based on available records, the internet came to Nigeria most probably around the year 2000. Up to 2919, the penetration was 33%. Averagely, that’s about 1.7% penetration annually. But from August 2019 to November 2020, the penetration catapulted to 47%. That is about a 12% increase within one year.
“So most probably, by the end of 2021, we could have more that 50% internet penetration in Nigeria and this is encouraging indeed. E-commerce, leverages on internet penetration, without it’s very difficult. So the more we have broadband penetration, by implication, the more e-commerce activities in the country.”
The Minister explained that penetration is increasing because the government has been working to provide the enabling environment for the mobile network operator and other internet service providers in the country, saying, “Most of the challenges like right of way, multiple taxation, vandalisation of infrastructure, the government have been working to address these issues, and a lot has been achieved. For the right of way, we have addressed 90% of the challenges now.
“For vandalisation, Mr. President has approved that investment in the sector should be under critical national infrastructure so as such, security institutions must provide security for them. When it comes to multiple taxation, we have been engaging the federal government, state and many more through the national economic council and governors forum to ensure taxation is harmonised.”
Pantami further stated that the government has been working to ensure that citizens get digital skills which will immensely contribute to the growth of digital economy activities.
“These trainings were conducted in collaboration with tech giants like IBM, Microsoft, Huawei and the rest. So when you provide more digital skills, you are promoting e-commerce in your country. Citizens are also encouraged to open Bank accounts. The percentage of Bank accounts opened in Nigeria is increasing by the day. If you look at all these things, they are foundations for e-commerce to be successful in the country”, Pantaki noted.
It would be recalled that the Minister recently commended the enormous impact of e-commerce on Nigerian businesses in a congratulatory message to the leading e-commerce platform, Jumia on the occasion of the company’s 9th anniversary.
Ayomide Oriade is of Content & Media Management PR Redline