Lagos - Mr Richard Edet, an ICT expert, has advised the federal government to declare a state of emergency for broadband deployment in rural areas.
Edet, the managing director of SAP Technologies Ltd., told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Thursday that broadband penetration was low in Nigeria.
He said that effective broadband penetration was one of the prerequisites for a developed economy.
The IT expert said that since the country had achieved voice telephony, there was the need for effective broadband deployment across the country.
He said that the country still had a long way to go in bridging the rural-urban telecommunication gap.
"Effective broadband network will assist in bridging the digital gap in the areas of education, health care, agricultural production and communication.
"Broadband will assist the police, firemen and emergency medical personnel to react to crises quickly, while facilitating cooperation between multiple safety agencies," he said.
Eket said that Nigeria was still battling with problem of poor infrastructure when other countries were making efforts to close the digital divide.
He expressed regret that telecommunication companies preferred to concentrate on urban centres instead of deploying broadband in rural areas.
"Broadband penetration in the country will promote the implementation of e-government, e-commerce, Internet governance, cyber security, Internet Exchange, spectrum management and outsourcing, among others.
"To achieve broadband penetration, government must ensure that broadband connectivity is available in all schools and also ensure that every government office is connected to broadband internet," he said.
The IT expert advised the government to unlock the country’s economic potential by supporting broadband rollout with particular emphasis on mobile broadband.