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Closing Infrastructure Gaps in Nigeria

Infrastructure gaps in the Nigerian digital space are hard reality. But opportunities lie within.  However till gaps are closed, we will not be at our best in areas that matter – education, agriculture health, commerce, manufacturing, etc. Very costly! 

Opportunities are being missed, while potential wastes away. Voice communication is critical but the issue of concern is the driving force of the knowledge economy - innovation! It is about the foundation for innovation and related opportunities in the tech enabled world.

Fintech, ecommerce, edtech, ehealth and other disruptive areas are all children of innovation. Embracing status quo is more of pretense than impact. Time is ripe for purposeful disruption to reach dreams, to foster inclusion and harness potential. Wasting the young is to waste the country. Brimming with energy and ideas our youth could do with infrastructure bridges to create the new things this country needs, the new that will make us more competitive, the new that could transform the planet. Change reality and connect ideas to reality with infrastructure. I joke not.

Fastest growing market? Rapid teledensity growth? There has been progress, undeniably. But is this sufficient for our needs? I don’t think so. Expand the present vision. For one thing, inclusion and quality still lag ridiculously behind. Branded as the broadband “do-it-all”, the National Broadband Plan (NBP) clearly needs to be reviewed and updated. Policy is again being outrun by the environment.

It's not all about doom though; explosive opportunity is in closing the gap. Policy changes and political will must come into play to ensure the states in Nigeria and FCT get with the program - to be smart and digital. The right thinking at the authority and policy level matters - broadband is not a luxury but a fundamental human right.

Jide Awe

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