Impact of affordable Internet Services in Niger State

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The Internet is the decisive technology of the ‘Information Age’, as the electrical engine was the agent of technological transformation of the Industrial Age. This global network of computer networks which is largely based nowadays on platforms of wireless communication, provides a kind of omnipresent capacity of multimodal, interactive communication in chosen time, transcending space.

The Internet is a tremendous, undisputed force for economic growth and social change. Not only has it unleashed new forms of connectivity, but it has also provided an outlet for new forms of innovation, entrepreneurship and social good. The Internet has also proven a dynamic tool for stimulating economic growth in developing countries. The Internet also provides opportunities to pursue social and developmental objectives.

The Internet is connecting remote populations to markets and strengthening the overall efficiency of service delivery in areas such as health, education, livelihoods and financial inclusion, as well as creating access to government services for the most marginalized populations. Businesses rely heavily on the Internet more than ever. Almost all business applications are hosted online. So, A good internet service can make or break a business. A bad connection not only damages the overall customer experience, but it also lowers overall productivity.

Over the years, there has been an enormous increase in the number of internet users in Niger State. With this increase, more internet service providers are needed in the State to drive competition amongst stakeholders which will indirectly validate the value proposition of the end user. However, while internet use in Niger State have plateaued in recent years, there has been complaints and dissatisfaction with the limited internet service options available to residents in Minna and its environs in Niger State.

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Internet connectivity is a vital component for individuals and organizations and has a lot of impact on productivity – good internet access is widely considered to be a productivity-enhancing factor. The proximity of Niger State to the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja among other reasons raises a lot of questions about the kind of service delivery available to residents of the State. According to a report released by National Bureau of Statistics in February, 2018 on Telecoms data: Active voice and internet per state, porting and tariff information, Niger State was listed as one of the top ten states with active internet subscriptions which accounted cumulatively for the 53.27% of all internet subscriptions in the fourth quarter of year 2017. The report further stated that the north central region of Nigeria which includes Niger State was second on the list of states with the highest percentage of active mobile internet subscriptions behind south western states.

With an estimated population of Five Million, Three hundred and forty three thousand, two hundred and sixty (5,343,260) and active internet subscription standing at Three Million, Five Hundred and Twenty five thousand, Seven hundred and twelve(3,525,712); Niger state is a land with possibilities considering population growth and its direct impact on small and medium scale enterprises to provide value added services which are internet based. A scenario where the available internet service is monopolised and inconsistent, as the case may be, is equivalent to being marooned on an island which ultimately decreases the chances of technology advancement in Niger State and Nigeria in general.

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We, Paritie Dynamic Enterprise Limited on behalf all concerned business owners and individuals therefore appeal to Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to use their good office to persuade internet service providers who can provide an affordable alternative to extend their reach to some areas in Niger State so as the vision of the Nigerian government to improve digital literacy and broadband penetration will be realised.

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