The Federal Government said it would provide free internet service at airports across the country at the cost of N24.4 billion.
The amount has been approved by the Federal Executive Council and the facilities will also be extended to some markets.
Beneficiary airports were selected from each geo-political zones of the country.
The Federal Government is set to spend N24.2 billion on the provision of internet facilities at 20 airports, some institutions of learning, and markets across the country. The amount was approved on Wednesday by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, disclosed this when he briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the Council meeting presided by President Muhammadu Buhari.
More details about this development
According to the Minister, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) will spearhead the provision of Internet facilities at the designated airports and institutions. Briefing the newsmen, the Minister said:
“The Federal Executive Council has approved two memos for the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) a parastatal under the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy. In these memos, certain intervention projects will be implemented by the NCC.
“Internet will be provided in 20 selected airports in Nigeria and higher institutions of learning as well as some markets to support micro, small, and medium enterprises.
“A contract was awarded for the provision of broadband in some selected airports. 20 of them are going to be covered in the first phase of the project. You have three airports in each geo-political zone.
“In South-West, you have two in Lagos State, one in Ondo State; South-East you have Imo, Anambra and Enugu States will benefit; Rivers and Akwa-Ibom States for South-South. North Central has the Federal Capital Territory and Kwara States; Kano, Sokoto, and Kebbi States will benefit from the North-West, while Borno, Adamawa, and Gombe States will benefit from the North-East Region.”
Free internet for all
According to him, the broadband internet will be provided for free for use by passengers coming to the airports, adding that a sustainability model has been developed for effective maintenance of the facilities. He also announced that 43 higher institutions of learning would be linked to the Internet facility.
“Some of them are universities, some polytechnics, and the price for the contract which covers the airports and institutions of learning is N18.95 billion. The second approval was for the provision of broadband to some selected markets, at the cost of N5.25 billion.
“The total for both memos is N24.20 billion and the project is going to be implemented by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC),” he explained.
In November last year, the FEC also approved the sum of N400 million each for the provision of broadband internet infrastructure in 18 universities across the country. The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy also disclosed at that time that 20 markets selected across Nigeria would also benefit from the broadband infrastructure projects
The projects are part of moves to achieve 70% broadband penetration in the country by the year 2025 as set in the Nigeria National Broadband Plan (NNBP 2020-2025).
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