Experts in the communication industry Tuesday held community network project partnership building meeting to attract telecommunication network and internet connection to underserved rural areas across the country.
Addressing journalists at the meeting in Abuja, the executive director, Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD), Yunusa Zakari Ya’u, lamented that the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF), has failed to live up to the expectation of providing funds for rural connectivity, saying Nigerians have global rights to be connected to the internet.
He said: “It is disheartening that a lot of Nigerians don’t have access to the internet. Government is not responsible for providing communication infrastructure. It is done by commercial entities. As commercial entities, they look out to make profit and that is why they will not go to areas where profit is not assured.
“The United Nations has declared that no one should be left behind and that the internet should be considered as fourth generation of rights because it is the foundation to accessing digital right. So, we need to work together to address the problem of Nigerians who are not connected to the internet.
“The USPF was established to bridge communication gap to ensure that underserved areas are served, but it is not doing what it should do. For instance, number one of its mandate says it should provide grants, loans and other resources to communities who want to set up a strong community network. So, government should look into the policy and also refocus on the job the USPF is doing.”