FG targets $40billion investments in digital infrastructure

The Federal Government is targeting $40billion private capital investments in digital infrastructure and facilitating the formation of up to $1 billion in private equity.

The government estimates public investment of N150billion, according to National Development Plan 2021-2025 obtained by The Nation yesterday.

According to the document, the 2017-2020 period recorded increased investment in infrastructure development, higher internet penetration and technology start-ups.

“Nigeria accounts for over 29 per cent of all internet usage in Africa, and much of this internet access is via mobile devices, powered by service provision from telecommunication and internet service providers (ISPs).

“The contribution to GDP (gross domestic product) from these telecommunication and ISP companies increased from 1.0 per cent in 2003 to 11 per cent in 2020. Further, Nigeria’s mobile penetration has grown to over 80 per cent, and broadband penetration increased from 27 per cent in 2017 to 46 per cent in 2020,” the document stated.

It noted that the information communication technology (ICT) sector is growing faster than other economic sectors in the country. It recalled that in 2020, the sector grew by 12.9 per cent, the only sector with double digit growth in that year.

“Furthermore, the telecommunications sub-sector recorded a growth rate of 15.9 per cent. It is the highest growth rate in the last 10 years. This strong growth was driven by the innovative activities of entrepreneurs, but also enabled by recently introduced policies which include the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (2020-2030), the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (2020-2025) and E-Government Masterplan to mention a few,” the NDP stated.

Nigeria’s technology start-up ecosystem also experienced strong growth, it said adding that in 2019, Nigerian startups raised $747 million in venture capital investment, accounting for 37 per cent of all startup funding in Africa.

“Further, the average funding for technology start-ups increased from $57,000 in 2015 to $73,000 in 202031, signalling increased investor interest in Nigeria. These achievements were driven, in part, by the government’s actions to develop a favourable enabling environment. For example, 98 per cent of the approximately 1400 Km of the National Information Communications Technology Infrastructure Backbone (NICTIB) phase 1 has been completed and is in operation across 11 states.

“Further, in 2020, the Nigerian government supported leading fibre and transmission infrastructure companies to extend coverage through the second phase of the NICTIB II project, with over 3,250 km of fibre optic cables running across the six geopolitical regions. The NICTIB II, which is being funded through a $328 million private credit facility, will provide connectivity across several towns and cities along its routes, thus facilitating access to broadband services for an estimated population of over 9.2 million people,” the NDP stated.

(The Nation)

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