By Augustine Ehikioya
The Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, on Tuesday disclosed that Nigeria’s purchase of foreign-made phones, sim cards, computers and software maintenance has gulped over N59 billion.
She made the remark in Abuja during ministerial platform highlighting achievements of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration in the past one year.
While maintaining that local computer manufacturing is put at 30 percent and imported computers at 70 percent, she said that mobile phones and sim cards are 100 percent imported into Nigeria.
According to her, the capital plight is encouraged by consumers’ preferences for foreign brands, difficult manufacturing environment and uncompetitive playing fields.
She said: “Over N59 billion has been transferred out in purchase and maintenance of software.”
Stressing that there is 58 percent mobile and 33 percent internet penetration in Nigeria, she said that internet users are about 52 million while internet subscription is put at 3.6 percent.
Even with all the challenges facing the sector, she said that it is the fasted growing sector in the Nigerian economy in 2010 and 2011, adding that it “contributed 5.46 percent in 2011”.
On the quality of service of GSM operators in Nigeria for March and April this year, she disclosed that call drop rates percent worsened for MTN from 1.33 to 1.44, Glo from 1.13 to 1.17 and Etisalat from 0.86 to 1.22 within the period.
While congestion rate percent improved for MTN in the same period from 1.33 to 0.89, Glo remained 1.09 in the two months as Etisalat rate worsened from 1.40 to 1.95.
To boost capacity building in the sector, she said the Telecoms Engineering Centres of Excellence is training 5,000 Nigerians to replace foreign expertise in the sector.
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