The Nigerian government is set to implement a policy it tagged zero-rating for educational websites, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami has disclosed.
The Minister, who disclosed this while delivering his keynote address at a Webinar organised by Lead Inspire Network with the theme: “Enhancing Virtual Learning and the Challenges of Internet Penetration in Nigeria” said the policy would allow the consumption of contents without charges to the normal data plan.
He noted that the policy is part of efforts by the federal government to ameliorate the impact of Covid-19 on the country’s education sector and would contain appropriate incentives for mobile network operators and internet service providers.
Dr. Pantami, who was represented by Dr. Usman Abdullahi, National Information Technology Development Agency’s Director of Information Technology Infrastructure Solutions, agreed that sufficient access to the internet is essential for the development of an information society adding that the government is working to increase the broadband penetration from its current level.
“Currently, broadband penetration stands at 40.18 percent and the plan is to make it 70 percent by 2025. This is the target we set for ourselves in the Nigerian National Broadband Plan. This will be of great benefit to the education sector. We would focus more on enabling appropriate content, infrastructure, capabilities for learning and teaching,” he said.
While assuring that the ministry would deepen broadband penetration through the creation of access to public internet service, the minister acknowledged that agencies under his supervision such as NITDA, NCC/USPF, in line with their mandates, have made giant strides in this regard.