Nigeria Approves 90,000-km Fiber Optic Expansion

By : Samira Njoya

Date : mercredi, 15 mai 2024 12:26

Nigeria aims to expand its fiber optic network to at least 125,000 km to ensure complete coverage and offer high-speed internet services to its entire population.

Nigeria's Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, Bosun Tijani, announced the approval of a special purpose vehicle (SPV) on May 14. The SPV will oversee the construction of an additional 90,000 kilometers of terrestrial fiber optic cables, significantly expanding the country's broadband infrastructure.

This decision, made during the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, is expected to benefit Nigerians across the board, particularly the nation's burgeoning startup ecosystem.

"Building on our existing work with the Broadband Alliance," Tijani wrote on a social media platform (formerly known as Twitter), "this increased connectivity will help plug the current non-consumption gap by connecting over 200,000 educational, healthcare and social institutions across Nigeria, ensuring that a larger section of our society can be included in the benefits of internet connectivity."

Partnering with public and private stakeholders, the SPV will build the additional fiber optic network, extending Nigeria's national connectivity backbone to at least 125,000 kilometers, up from the current 35,000 kilometers. Upon completion, this will position Nigeria with the third-longest terrestrial fiber optic backbone in Africa, behind Egypt and South Africa.

The fiber optic expansion is expected to have a substantial impact on the Nigerian economy. It is projected to increase internet penetration beyond 70%, potentially reduce internet access costs by over 60%, and connect at least half of the estimated 33 million Nigerians currently without internet access. Additionally, it could drive GDP growth from $472.6 billion in 2022 to $502 billion within the next four years.

Samira Njoya


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