Only 23 percent of Nigerians and other Africans in rural areas will use the Internet in 2022, compared to 64 percent of their urban counterparts, the International Telecommunications Union’s ‘Measuring Digital Development Facts and Figures 2022’ report showed.
The report showed that approximately 5.3 billion people or 66 percent of the world’s population now use the Internet, which means a growth rate of 6.1 percent by 2021 and leaves 2.7 billion people without an Internet connection.
It said, “That leaves 2.7 billion people without an internet connection, which shows how much more needs to be done if the target of universal connectivity by 2030 is to be achieved.
“In European countries, the Commonwealth of Independent States and America, between 80 and 90 percent of people use the Internet, approaching universal use (defined for practical purposes as an Internet penetration rate of at least 95 percent).
“Almost two-thirds of people in Arab countries and Asia-Pacific countries (70 percent and 64 percent respectively) use the Internet, in line with the global average, while the average in Africa is only 40 percent of the population .
The report revealed that universal connectivity also remains a distant possibility in the least developed and landlocked developing countries, where only 36 percent of the population is currently online.”
The report also revealed that 259 million more men will use the Internet in 2022 compared to women.
“Globally, 82 percent of people living in cities will use the Internet by 2022. That percentage is 1.8 times higher than those who use the Internet in rural areas. In the last three years, the number has decreased from 2.3 to 1.8, as the rural areas are gradually growing,” he said.
According to it, the urban-rural gap has been basically closed in Europe (1.1 ratio). In some places, it is wide but narrow. For example, in Africa, 64 percent of people living in cities use the Internet in 2022 compared to 23 percent of people in rural areas, which is an average of 2.8; but that’s down from about 4 in 2019. In the Asia-Pacific region, the average is 1.8, down from 2.4 three years ago.”
According to the Director, ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau, Doreen Bogdan-Martin, young people aged 15 to 24 are the cause of global communication.
He said, “Young people remain the driving force behind global communication, with 75 percent of the 15-24 age group now online, compared to 65 percent of the rest of the world.”
He said that in poor countries, cost and lack of digital skills remain barriers to digital adoption. He added, “In poorly connected countries, the two biggest barriers to digital adoption remain cost and digital skills. While the accessibility of entry-level fixed and mobile-broadband services improved by 2022, the global gap remains very wide.
“For the average consumer in a typical low-income economy, the cheapest broadband basket still costs more than 9 percent of their income – more than six times the global average. A fixed broadband service costs more than 30 percent, compared to less than 2 percent in high-income countries.”
In the National Development Plan 2021 – 2025, the Federal Government has revealed that about 301 local government areas in the country do not have access to the internet.