Nigeria to Launch Special Purpose Vehicle for 90,000km Fibre Optic Cable

May 14, 2024
Fibre Optic Cables

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, Mr Bosun Tijani, has announced the launch of a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) that will support the delivery of an additional 90,000km of fibre optic cable to Nigeria and boost its internet connectivity pursuit.

According to the Minister, approvals were secured this week at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, adding that it offers significant opportunities for Nigerians in general, specifically for the country’s digital startup ecosystem.

The SPV will support the delivery of an additional 90,000km of fibre optic cable to complement the existing connectivity infrastructure and deliver a stronger national backbone for universal access to the internet across Nigeria and become Africa’s 3rd longest terrestrial fibre optic backbone, after Egypt and South Africa.”Over the last few months, we have put in extensive groundwork to set up this SPV which will be modelled in governance and operations similarly to some of the best Public-Private Partnership setups in Nigeria, such as NIBSS and NLNG.

“Working with partners and stakeholders from the government and private sector, this SPV will build the additional fibre optic coverage required to take Nigeria’s connectivity backbone to a minimum of 125,000km, from the current coverage of about 35,000km. Upon delivery, this will become Africa’s 3rd longest terrestrial fibre optic backbone, after Egypt and South Africa,” he said in an announcement on Tuesday.

With the move, Nigeria will be seeking to increase internet penetration to over 70 per cent, reduce the cost of access to the internet by over 60 per cent and drive inclusion of at least 50 per cent of the 33 million Nigerians currently excluded from access to the internet.

On the economic front, the country will be targeting delivering up to 1.5 per cent of GDP growth per capita raising GDP from $472.6 billion (2022) to $502 billion over the next four years.

“This extensive coverage will enable us to optimise the unique benefit of having 8 submarine cables already landed in Nigeria and therefore drive uptake of the data capacity that the cables offer, beyond the current usage level of 10 per cent.

“Building on our existing work with the Broadband Alliance, 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,” he added.

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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