Senate Committee on ICT visits MDXi, Pledges ICT Objectives Achievable
The Senate Committee on Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and Cybercrime lead by Senator Buhari Abdulfatai, committee chairman, made a working visit to Mainone ‘s Data Centre, MDXi in Lagos recently.
During the tour, with a high level delegation, Senator Buhari pledged the readiness of the committee to work with relevant agencies to ensure that Nigeria meets its ICT objectives considering the incredible capacity already available in country and commends Mainone for investing massively in connectivity and data warehousing infrastructures.
The senators expressed disappointment on the country’s inability to leverage on the excess capacity of MainOne. Nigeria’s broadband penetration is still low despite the fact that MainOne has bandwidth in excess of 10 terabyte capacity lying fallow at the country’s sea shores.
On MainOne’s submarine cable system and data centre, Abdulfatai said: “with this capacity already available in-country, there is no reason for the country’s broadband penetration rate to remain at the 21 per cent as reported by the Nigerian Communications Commission, given the booming demand for data and connectivity services in the country.”
Abdulfatai assured that the senate will help to facilitate broadband rollout and give necessary legal teeth to ICT policies including the National Broadband Plan and Cybercrime act. Senator Abdulfatai stated that the delay in licensing Infrastructure Companies and deploying network infrastructure after licensing posed a major threat to the achievement of the nations’ technology goals, which largely depends on broadband infrastructure to be provided by InfraCos.
In her comment, MainOne’s Chief Executive Officer, Funke Opeke, lauded the committee’s efforts steps taken in ensuring the development of ICT across Nigeria via its support of home-grown enterprises and innovations.
“Nigerian content is arguably the most globally recognized African content today, but South Africa and Kenya are perceived as digital leaders in Africa because of the infrastructural gaps in the country. MainOne has made significant investments in ICT infrastructural development in Nigeria, and West Africa, and will continue to do so, but we require full government support to enable the ICT industry in Nigeria surpass other countries.”
Chairman of MainOne, Fola Adeola, also added that, “what is being done at MainOne was what government used to do with lots of difficulties. But here, we do it with ease. Our position today and the future will be on the quality of laws passed by the lawmakers, and this will go a long way to create jobs. Broadband should be available and affordable. Nigerian, universities should run on broadband by now.”