…Insists on data price reduction
By Michael Eboh
The Federal Government has disclosed it will soon introduce a number of incentives for entrepreneurs and investors migrating from traditional to electronic businesses in Nigeria.
Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami disclosed this in Abuja while speaking
at the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, NIPR, Federal Capital Territory Chapter’s 2019 Annual General Meeting and Conference.
He also insisted that the federal government is not going back on its directives for a reduction in mobile internet data subscription cost.
He lamented that the huge cost of subscription for mobile internet data was not in tandem with the quality of service provided by the mobile telecommunication companies.
Pantami listed some of the incentives the federal government is considering to include the provision of free domain name for businesses that intend to go online and also develop laws that would protect online businesses.
He explained that it was critical for the government to review the strategy it had developed over the years and existing policies, adding that after the conclusion of these processes, it would commence the implementation. The minister disclosed that the federal government would ensure that many more Nigerians are trained on digital literacy so that they could imbibe the requisite information and communication technology, ICT, skills.
He added that the government was focused on increasing broadband penetration, while ensuring that it is affordable to Nigerians.
He said, “We want to make sure that broadband penetration is increased significantly. We want to make sure that broadband is also affordable to Nigerians, in terms of Internet access. That is why we have directed NCC to sit down with operators and review the prices. This is because if you look at the prices, sometimes, and the quality of service, it is not encouraging.
“This is very critical. At the same time, we are providing domain name for free for businesses that want to go online, and in the future time, we want to start giving incentives to people that want to migrate from traditional business to electronic business in order to support them. Government will provide incentives at certain level in order to encourage them.
“We are still working on some subsidiary legislations and regulatory instruments that would protect businesses online. This is because if people migrate, they need to be protected. We are also working on all these things and I hope that by the middle of next year, a lot would be achieved in those areas.”