Key questions:
  1. The USPF is receiving attention from Nigeria’s executive. What is it, and what is its purpose?
  2. How would expanding the USPF look like, and how will this impact Nigeria’s digital economy?

On 17 September 2023, The Minister of Communication, Innovation and Digital Economy (MoCIDE), Dr Bosun Tijani, published his United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 78)
agenda. One of the issues the Minister considered worth discussing on the public stage was the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF).

Specifically, the agenda was to seek partnerships to enable the USPF to bridge Nigeria’s digital divide.

The USPF was set up to ensure universal telecommunications connectivity and access in Nigeria, with its activities running in the background of Nigeria’s digital economy. This simply means ensuring all citizens can access mobile communications and internet networks. And the Minister’s prioritisation makes it worth exploring. We will examine the USPF and why it matters and is vital to Nigeria’s digital economy.

What is the USPF?

The creation of the USPF was heralded by the Nigerian Communications Act 2003, hereafter “the Act.” The Act established the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and provided for