Saturday, June 18, 2011

Internet access set to triple in Nigeria

15 June 2011

LAGOS (Reuters) - The number of people with internet access in Nigeria could triple over the next two years, mirroring the explosion in mobile phone usage in Africa's most populous nation, an industry executive said on Wednesday.

Funke Opeke, chief executive of the Main One Cable Company which has laid a 7,000 km fibre optic cable linking West Africa to Europe, forecast at least one in three people in Nigeria could have direct internet access by 2013.

"We would say a number in the 35-40 percent for internet access penetration over the next 18-24 months would be a worthwhile objective," Opeke said in an interview.

"We have a large young population. If you think of all our students in tertiary education, if you think about government migrating to e-government ... if you think of businesses which are not yet fully automated," she said.

Current internet penetration in Nigeria, a country of more than 150 million people, is estimated at around 11 percent.

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