Nigeria to invest $52.5 mln for free internet in 75 public places

By : Samira Njoya

Date : lundi, 03 avril 2023 16:07

In Nigeria, only a few states have access to reliable and affordable Internet. To address this deficit, the federal government is stepping up actions such as setting up and funding digital projects.

The Nigerian government on Wednesday (March 29) agreed to provide free broadband Internet access in 75 public places, including 20 airports, several tertiary institutions, and six marketplaces in the 36 states of the Federation. The Federal Executive Council of Nigeria (FEC) approved two contracts worth N24.20 billion ($52.5 million) for that purpose.

According to Digital Minister Isa Ali Pantami, the cost of providing broadband infrastructure to tertiary institutions and airports is N18.95 billion, while the second approval to provide broadband to selected markets is N5.25 billion.

We want to ensure that students and staff benefit from unlimited internet. For airports, we know the difficulty when you land without any connectivity,” said Isa Ali Pantami.

“[...] for markets, it’s to support innovation-driven enterprises that are being championed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where we try to give global visibility to our innovators, to our micro, small and medium enterprises, so that their market is not going to be narrowed and restricted only to our local communities,” he added. 

The funding will finance the 2nd and 3rd phases of a broadband infrastructure project launched by the federal government. In 2019, the FEC approved a memo for the unlimited provision of Internet in 18 universities under the first phase of the project.

The said project is in line with the Nigerian National Broadband Plan 2020-2025, which aims to increase broadband penetration to 70% nationwide.  

Samira Njoya


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