FG To Reduce Price Of Internet Enabled Mobile Phones

The Federal Government has pledged to reduce the cost of internet enabled mobile phone so as to get more Nigerians online.

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The Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson dropped the hint at an International Forum On Accelerating Nationwide Broadband Access in Nigeria organised by OpenMedia Group in conjunction with Atlantic Telecoms and Media in Lagos.

Speaking during a Ministerial Platform anchored by Esther Ugbodaga of CNBC Africa, the minister said that government is passionate about increasing internet penetration in the country.

The minister disclosed also that President Goodluck Jonathan is backing the move by the ministry to de-gazette a law by the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) to impose a two per cent tax on mobile devices in case they are used to infringe on copyright laws in the future and that they will need the money to regulate that.

The minister however urged the private sector to come out with plans on how to manufacture low cost devices that will enable more Nigerians have access to the internet stressing that “reduction in taxes on devices will not increase internet penetration.”

She explained, “Penetration goes up when there is relevant content and people see the need to get on the internet and so people will buy a N2000 phone if it will get them onto the internet.”

The minister assured that she will not advocate for the imposition of taxes on devices while pushing for affordable broadband internet access for Nigerians at same time adding that the Federal Government is poised towards tackling the challenges of broadband access in the country.

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