To bridge the telecommunication infrastructure gap in the country, Nigerian mobile network operators have earmarked $8.5 billion for investment purposes. In specific terms, the companies intend to invest this amount to meet the demand for telecommunication services across Nigeria.
The network operators will invest the $8.5 billion in the next two years to improve telecommunication services and expand their reach. This investment represents an increase of $1.6 billion over the past two years.
According to the Global System for Mobile communication Association (GSMA), the mobile Internet gap in the country is estimated at 30 percent. The association in its Mobile Economy West Africa 2019 Report, also disclosed that 29 percent of the Nigerian population are mobile Internet users.
In addition, the GSMA report revealed that about 41 percent of the Nigerian population have access to mobile network broadband, even though they do not subscribe to mobile Internet services.
“The improved macro-economic outlook for the sub-region, following the economic recession in Nigeria in 2016, bodes well for demand for telecoms services. Along with increasing investments in 4G networks, this will support capex growth over the medium term.
“From 2019 to 2020, mobile operators in the sub-region will spend $8.5bn on network infrastructure and services – an increase of $1.6bn over the previous two years.”
Social and economic benefits of the internet
The association’s analysts said there are social and economic benefits for individuals and communities who have access to the Internet. They added that the benefits are (but not limited to) improved business efficiency and increased access to life-enhancing services.
Meanwhile, the GSMA report stated that at the end of 2018, there were around 100 million mobile Internet users in the region, representing an increase of 19 million over the previous year. This makes mobile the primary platform for accessing the Internet in West Africa.
Nigeria surpasses the average index score for Mobile Connectivity Index
Nigeria was among four countries that scored higher than the sub-Saharan Africa average index score in the Mobile Connectivity Index, the GSMA report disclosed.
The association stated that most countries in West Africa scored below the average index score for sub-Saharan Africa. However, Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Cape Verde, and Ghana surpassed the average index score.
Cote d’Ivoire is the most improved country in sub-Saharan Africa, having recorded significant improvements in infrastructure, affordability and content development. This improvement earned Cote d’Ivoire 9.2 points over three years in the Mobile Connectivity Index.
Challenges network operators face in deepening digital inclusion in West Africa
In GSMA’s assessment, network operators face several challenges when enhancing digital inclusion in West Africa. According to the report, cost of operation, inconsistent and distortive government regulation are some of the challenges.
“Extending coverage remains economically challenging given the high costs of increasing coverage and issues related to consumer demand. Inconsistent and distortive regulation from governments restricts public and private investment in connecting the unconnected.
“Overcoming these barriers will require focus, innovation and collaboration between the public and private sectors around solutions for extending network coverage into rural areas and stimulating demand for mobile Internet services among underserved populations.”
#EndSARS: Army denies shooting at Lekki protesters, says Lagos asked for military
The Nigerian Army has once again denied it fired gunshots at protesters who were gathered at the Lekki toll plaza.
What you should know
Nairametrics reported last week that several social media accounts had revealed that peaceful protesters were allegedly being shot at by the military at the Lekki toll holdout. The Nigerian Army, however, denied deploying soldiers to attack #EndSARS protesters who assembled there.
The Lagos State Government ordered an investigation into the Lekki Toll Plaza shooting that was allegedly done by some men of the Nigerian Army on Tuesday evening. Babajide Sanwo-Olu had also stated that Lagos State would not burn on his watch, as he tried to calm things down after hoodlums wreaked havoc post-Lekki shootings, and announced that the Judicial panel set up by the state would include the incident.
Nairametrics earlier reported that Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu had insisted that there were only two confirmed deaths during the shooting incident that happened a week ago at the Lekki Tollgate.
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 27th of October 2020, 113 new confirmed cases and 3 deaths were recorded in Nigeria
The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record significant increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 62,224 confirmed cases.
On the 27th of October 2020, 113 new confirmed cases and 3 deaths were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 2,326 samples across the country.
To date, 62,224 cases have been confirmed, 57,916 cases have been discharged and 1,135 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 614,480 tests have been carried out as of October 27th, 2020 compared to 612,154 tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 27th October 2020,
- Total Number of Cases – 62,224
- Total Number Discharged – 57,916
- Total Deaths – 1,1135
- Total Tests Carried out – 614,480
According to the NCDC, the 113 new cases were reported from 12 states- Lagos (51), FCT (15), Plateau (11), Kaduna (8), Oyo (8), Rivers (8), Ogun (4), Edo (2), Imo (2), Kwara (2), Delta (1), Kano (1).
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 20,935, followed by Abuja (6,008), Plateau (3,614), Oyo (3,433), Rivers (2,781), Edo (2,654), Kaduna (2,625), Ogun (2,014), Delta (1,813), Kano (1,743), Ondo (1,666), Enugu (1,314), Kwara (1,069), Ebonyi (1,049), Katsina (952), Osun (923), Abia (898), Gombe (883). Borno (745), and Bauchi (710).
Imo State has recorded 616 cases, Benue (486), Nasarawa (479), Bayelsa (403), Ekiti (332), Jigawa (325), Akwa Ibom (295), Anambra (277), Niger (274), Adamawa (257), Sokoto (165), Taraba (140), Kebbi (93), Cross River (87), Yobe (82), Zamfara (79), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.
Lock Down and Curfew
In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.
The movement restriction, which was extended by another two-weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.
On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.
On Thursday, 6th August 2020 the federal government through the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another four (4) weeks.
Oyo sets up N500 Million fund each for youth entrepreneurs, compensation for victims of police brutality
Governor Seyi Makinde plans to disburse N500 million fund to youth entrepreneurs in Oyo state.
Oyo State Government has directed that a N500 million MSME fund be set up to fund youth entrepreneurs in the State with bright business ideas