Nigeria to increase internet penetration by reducing phone costs – Johnson

Omobola Johnson, Nigeria’s communication technology minister, has announced the Nigerian government’s plans to increase internet penetration in the country by reducing the cost of internet-enabled mobile phones.

Speaking in Lagos at an international forum with the theme “Accelerating Nationwide Broadband Access in Nigeria”, Johnson said the Nigerian government is passionate about increasing internet penetration in the country.

She said President Goodluck Jonathan is supporting the ministry in its bid to de-gazette a law by the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) to impose a two per cent tax on mobile devices, which she said is necessary to prevent infringing on copyright laws in the future.

On the role of the private sector, she said the stakeholders in the sector should come up with plans on how to manufacture low-cost devices that will enable more Nigerians have access to the internet.

She said: “Reduction in taxes on devices will not increase internet penetration. Penetration goes up when there is relevant content and people see the need to get on the internet and so people will buy a NGN2,000 (US$12) phone if it will get them onto the internet.”

She assured Nigerians she has no plans to impose taxes on devices.

Image courtesy of Shuttershock

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