By Adedapo Adesanya
The Federal Government plans to invest N265 billion in broadband infrastructure over the next four years.
This was disclosed by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Mr Umar Danbatta, who said this was part of efforts to increase nationwide coverage which has been projected to boost the country’s economy.
The NCC chief said the project will be a public-private partnership between the government and the private sector. He outlined that the government will handle 25 percent, while the chunk of 75 percent will be handled by six privately owned infrastructure companies.
This means that the government will provide N65 billion for the project and jointly, the private infrastructure companies will balance the N200 billion marked for the structures.
Mr Danbatta stated that the country, as part of its diversification plans, wants to increase connectivity for the nation’s budding population as part of its drive to boost business and help diversify the economy away from oil, its major source of revenue.
Outlining the plan, he said the country will roll out an additional 30,000 kilometers (19,000 miles) of fiber across its 774 local governments, taking the total to 71,000 kilometers by 2024.
He added that once this was done, it will help increase the technical penetration rate from 38 percent currently to 65 percent.
The commission plans to start the project this year after obtaining approval from the government last year.
Speaking on what other potentials this is going to bring, he noted that this will bring about affordable Internet for Nigerians since there will be more coverage.
“There will be data everywhere in the country and it will be cheap,” he said.
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