To be Nigerian, and to survive in the country with all your marbles intact you need to be thick skinned, and you need an absurdly high amount of tolerance to experience the socio-economic and political problems citizens are subjected to and still boast of not going insane.
While being Nigerian entails a constant struggle to exist in a fairly decent and habitable environ, thanks in no small part to the government, it is interesting to note that some of the initiatives the Nigerian government adopts is actually geared towards bettering the life of the average Nigerian.
One of such initiatives, led by the President, Muhammadu Buhari, is the inauguration of the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (2020-2025). A committee that was set up on December 16, 2019, with the goal of decreasing the cost of data for Nigerians.
No doubt, Nigeria stands as the foremost African country which consumes the most data. Statista recorded at least 126 million internet users in the country as at 2019, with the stats reaching three times higher than Egypt, the second highest internet consumers in Africa. So it only makes sense that a commodity so vastly consumed in a single economy should come at an affordable rate.
The plan by the Nigerian government to slash down the rate of data cost in the country has surprisingly being relatively successful. The grand plan was stated as reducing the cost of 1 gigabyte of data from around N1000 to a maximum of N390 by 2025. While this seems like a long time to implement this plan, it is worth taking into account that in the past year data prices reduced by 50%, as reported by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami.
In a statement titled, ‘Current Cost Of Data Reduced To Less Than 50% Of January 2020 Cost,”; the minister detailed how the average cost of 1GB data reduced fro, N1000 to N487, from January 2020 to November 2020. “This was based on a report submitted by the Nigerian Communications Commission to the minister (Pantami) following the implementation of the directives.”
This in our estimation is an over achievement of the goal in relation to the set turn around time, and at this rate, assuming the Nigerian government shows no complacency in handling this project, the goal of N390 per 1GB will be a reality by the end of next year.
This is no doubt one of those things you hear of the Nigerian government that doesn’t spike one’s heart rate. It is a rare win indeed and fingers are crossed that this does not turn to another abandoned project that leaves things worse off than its initial state before it’s proposed fix was implemented.
However for most Nigerian, this doesn’t appear to be a win at all. The news did nothing but highlight other prevalent problems in the country, some don’t think its news worth celebrating, while others think it is a blatant lie.
For Chinedu Okafor, its all about making an impact with words, creating a profound impression on the audience with the intended narrative.