Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) has launched awareness campaign tagged #SwiftandCheapNet against poor internet services in Nigeria.
The campaign was part of an Africa wide campaign named #FASTAfrica, standing for Fast, Affordable, Safe and Transparent internet for all in Africa.
Speaking at a press conference organised ahead of a seven-day awareness campaign on poor internet services in the country held at the CITAD office in Kano yesterday, Executive Director of the organisation, Y. Z. Ya’u lamented that Nigerians access internet that is slow and costly, making it difficult for many people to afford it.
He maintained that, Internet service providers in Nigeria hardly keep to any agreement of quality of service, adding that there has not been demonstrated capacity on the part of the regulatory bodies to ensure enforcement of such agreements.
According to him, data from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) shows that majority of Nigerians do not have access to internet, adding that despite the presence of 3G network rolled out across many places in the country, many of the Internet users rely on slow speed service which discouraged many from using the internet.
He said, “Slow speed has implication in cost of use of internet. As service is slow, your data get exhausted without getting the information you wish to upload or download. In fact, many cannot upload or download video. We intend to during the week long campaign raise public awareness through series of public enlightenment programmes that will mobilize the public to demand for faster and more affordable internet access and to engage providers and the regulatory bodies on the need to initiate processes that will improve the speed of internet access and make it cheaper in the country.”
Ya’u also called on governments to address obstacles for the expansion and deployment of network rings by the Internet Service Providers (ISPs), adding that the government should also review and implement the National Broadband Network.
He also called on the government to improve power supply as the key factor in determining the cost of service by the service providers, urging the government to ensure that all internet-related laws and policies are clear, transparent and in line with principles contained in the African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedom.
He however urged the regulatory agencies to ensure that all ISPs operate within the law and acceptable limited quality of service agreement, adding that the agencies should engage governments with a view to addressing obstacles to network expansion and rolling out of additional networks by service providers.
He also called on the general public to join the campaign with a view to enjoying fast and affordable internet service in the country.