NNPC Moves to Boost Broadband Penetration to 30%
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has taken huge steps to increase broadband penetration in the country from its present 6 percent to 30 percent by the year 2020.
Group Managing Director of the oil agency, Mr Maikanti Baru, while receiving Minister of Communications, Mr Adebayo Shittu, stated that the NNPC would “commercialise our Fibre-Optics Cable Network utilizing NNPC pipeline Right of Way that cuts across the entire country” to achieve this.
“Some of the benefits of this initiative include the opportunity to provide backbone carriage to meet the National 2020 Plan for broadband penetration in the country,” he told the Minister.
According to him, commercialising some of NNPC’s critical Information Communications & Technology (ICT) infrastructure is in line with his plan to re-focus the corporation as a commercially viable entity.
The infrastructure, he said, include the over 960km of Fibre Optic Cable laid between Lagos-Benin and Warri to Kaduna on the NNPC Pipeline Right of Way; 52 remote VSAT stations nationwide and 2 Network Centres connecting all NNPC Depots and Pump Stations across the country.
He added that NNPC was read to back the Ministry of Communications in its quest to develop new ICT initiatives towards making life easier for Nigerians.
“We are committed to supporting the Ministry of Communications to realize its ICT dreams which will not only ensure effective governance and service delivery in the country, but will also make life easier for Nigerians,” Mr Baru stated.
The GMD also lauded the Minister for ensuring the pursuit of the National Strategy and Roadmap Agenda which intends to increase broadband penetration from 6 percent to 30 percent by 2020.
He told the Minister that to key into the Ministry’s laudable agenda, the NNPC had already re-strategized its ICT initiatives towards making it a hub for seamless, efficient and value-adding operations nationwide.
According to the GMD, the NNPC also boasts of a Data Centre Facility that houses all its Data, Information and business solutions such as the Systems Applications & Products (SAP), E-mail services, collaboration solutions and specialized applications for the oil and gas industry.
Earlier in his remarks, the Minister lauded the GMD for “bringing a new lease of life to the NNPC” through reforms that were in consonance with President Muhammadu Buhari’s change agenda for the country.
He called on the NNPC to support some of its initiatives such as the proposed ICT University, the reforms in Nigeria Communication Satellite (NIGCOMSAT), the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) bank and transport company as well as the proposed ICT Park & Exhibition Centre.