Linking the Role of Government to Internet Diffusion in Nigeria: Is the ‘Giant’ of Africa Awakening?

35 Pages Posted: 9 Aug 2012

Date Written: August 9, 2012


This paper focuses on the role of government in the development of the Internet, as a representative artifact of a National Information Infrastructure (NII) of a country. We consider Nigeria, a developing country that has been attempting to enhance the role of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in various sectors of her economy over the years. A longitudinal analysis of Internet diffusion, as a representative NII technology was undertaken using the Global Diffusion of the Internet (GDI) framework. As is the typical practice with studies employing the GDI framework, empirical data was gathered from a variety of documentary sources including government/regulatory bodies reports and policies, websites, newspapers and research articles. The analysis reveals that there has been a determined focus on the development of the NII infrastructure in Nigeria. What comes to the fore is the important role that government is playing in ensuring that the Internet contributes to the economic rejuvenation of the country. We pinpoint that the federal government has been ineffective in indirectly facilitating the sector in the roles of strategist, guider and integrator. It is hoped that current and future policy initiatives in the telecommunications industry will change the negative determinants of NII development.

Keywords: Nigeria, internet diffusion, Africa, telecommunications policy, GDI

JEL Classification: N47, O3, O55

Suggested Citation

Ochara, Nixon Muganda and Bankole, Felix, Linking the Role of Government to Internet Diffusion in Nigeria: Is the ‘Giant’ of Africa Awakening? (August 9, 2012). Available at SSRN: or

Nixon Muganda Ochara (Contact Author)

University of Venda ( email )

Thohoyandou, Limpopo 0950
South Africa

Felix Bankole

University of Cape Town ( email )

Private Bag X3
Rondebosch, Western Cape 7701
South Africa

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