The 2016 edition report of WDR (World Development Report) released last week indicated that there has been rapid spread of digital technology in most parts of the world. However, many countries are still missing out on the broader development benefits from using these technologies.
According to the report, many households in developing countries own a mobile phone (Say about 70%) than have access to clean water and electricity. The report also highlights how the aggregate impact of digital technology — accruing from its adoption — has fallen short and is unevenly distributed among the people.
The case for Nigeria is that; the high cost of broadband service in the country still remains a rub off on the full impact of digital technology in the country, despite promising NCC statistics. As a result, only about 12% of Nigerians have access to broadband service.
The report noted that digital technologies such as the internet, mobile phones and all other tools for analyzing and information sharing have the potentials to promote inclusion, efficiency and innovation in every economy, and more so when fully utilized.
In proffering solutions to enable people get the most out of digital technology; the report emphasized that countries must work on the analog complements by strengthening regulations that ensure competition among businesses and also adapting workers’ skills to the demands of the new economy.
Ensuring that the necessary institutions are accountable can also come in handy in solving the problem that is posed by the under utilization of digital technology in Nigeria.
The Nigerian Coordinator, Alliance For Affordable Internet (A4AI), and former vice President of the NCC, Mr. Ernest Ndukwe while making a remark said government must begin to tinker on the idea of giving subsidy and some measure of waiver to operators and investors in the nation’s telecom sector before the country could achieve deep inclusion in broadband access.
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