Just 81% of Nigerians do not have access to the internet completely –  Alliance for Affordable Internet

Ken Ibenne

Ken Ibenne

In Nigeria, just 12.1% of the population has access to high-quality Internet services (Meaningful Connectivity). According to a comprehensive study conducted by the Alliance for Affordable Internet, this is the case (A4AI).

According to A4AI, Nigeria has an 81 percent significant connection gap, with only 6.6 percent of the rural population and 16.4 percent of the urban population having adequate Internet service.

This comes as Nigeria’s broadband penetration has reached 42.3 percent, with 80.7 million subscribers in March. According to statistics released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Internet users on the narrow band increased to 145.8 million during the same time period.

However, according to A4AI, meaningful connectivity is a policy framework and an Internet access metric for determining the quality of someone’s Internet access.

A4AI employed four separate markers to define and assess meaningful connectivity: a 4G connection, smartphone ownership, an unlimited broadband connection at home, work, or school, and daily usage.

A4AI reported that just 10% of the overall population in the nations assessed is meaningfully connected to the Internet, with a concentration on Columbia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, and South Africa. It added that the percentage of people who are meaningfully linked varies substantially among the nine countries surveyed, rising to 14% in metropolitan areas and down to just 5% in rural areas. Colombia, for example, is one of four countries with meaningful connection, according to the report (26.2 per cent). It affects only one out of every 166 Rwandans (0.6 per cent).

Rural communities in the nine countries assessed lag behind their metropolitan counterparts in terms of Internet connectivity, according to the broadband organization. Persons in metropolitan areas are twice as likely to be connected to the Internet than people in rural areas, with a 70% difference in Internet use between the two. However, it stated that in terms of meaningful connectivity, metropolitan areas have over three times the degree of meaningful connectivity as rural areas, and the meaningful connectivity geographical gap approaches 110 percent. It was emphasized that Internet connectivity disparities understate the extent to which rural areas lag behind metropolitan areas in terms of access quality.

According to A4AI, the nine (countries) surveys were used to assess the prevalence of each of the four pillars of meaningful connection by surveying mobile Internet users and using weighted projections to determine what fraction of the population it represented.

According to the report, 95.4 percent of Ghana’s population is without meaningful connectivity, with only 6.5 percent of the population having good access. With a population disparity of 130.3 percent, Kenya has 10.9 percent meaningful connectivity. Mozambique has a connection deficit of 144.4 percent, with only 3.6 percent of the population receiving adequate service.

Rwanda has a 266.7 percent meaningful connectivity geography gap, with only 0.6 percent of the population having access to enhanced service, according to the report. South Africa has a significant connection gap of 79.7%, with only 12.8% having access. India has a population gap of 54.4 percent, with just around 6.8% of the population having meaningful connectivity. In Indonesia, just 12.7% of the population has meaningful connectivity, while the remaining 48.8% do not.

It was emphasized that the clear trend of wider meaningful connectivity gaps between urban and rural areas in all countries highlights the need for action not only to connect rural and remote populations to the Internet, but also to ensure that this connectivity has the necessary technical capabilities to be useful to those who live in these areas.

In addition to assessing meaningful connectivity, the A4AI poll inquired about device ownership, allowing comparisons to be made between those who own a personal computer (whether a desktop, laptop, or tablet device) and those who do not.

Only 68.7% of the population in Nigeria possesses a computer, compared to 58.6% in Ghana, 50.4 percent in Kenya, 46.3 percent in Mozambique, 31.5 percent in Rwanda, and 64.8 percent in South Africa. Colombia has a 60.4 percent rate, India has a 21.8 percent rate, and Indonesia has a 51.6 percent rate.

PC owners were 75.3 percent confident in locating information, whereas non-owners were just 58.2 percent sure, according to A4AI. This indicates a 29.3 percent gain in informational confidence on average across countries and metrics, according to the report.

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