Lagos - The federal government plans to ensure more mobile phones are made locally and are subsequently affordable to Nigerians.
This follows a recent report that about half of Nigeria's estimated 160 million population currently has access to mobile phone. This is contrary to market statistics suggesting there are more than 110 million subscribers in the country.
According to the government officials, the plans to ensure the affordability of phones in the market are to ensure financial inclusion.
Speaking on the plans, Information Communication Technology Minister, Omobola Johnson, said government was working on arrangements to encourage local production of mobile phones and Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards.
Johnson said that when the plans finally came to being, cost of producing phones will be reduced while known international brands would be confident to set up phone manufacturing plants in the country.
She added that in order to ensure inclusive growth in the country, there was need for a lot of those in the rural areas to be connected via telecoms.
The ICT Minister said that government has a target to ensure that 80 percent of Nigerians are connected by 2017.
“About 80 million Nigerians carry mobile phones and we are really working on bring down the cost of mobile phones to empower financial inclusion and also to support education,” she said.
“We have just released some local contents guidelines to further unlock the potential in this industry. All we want to do is to use technology and make it easier for people to invest in new businesses in Nigeria.”
Johnson disclosed that about $25 billion has so far been invested on infrastructure in the telecoms sector till date while between $6 and $7 billion goes to infrastructure development in the sector yearly.
- CAJ News