Federal Government Approves N24.20bn for Free Broadband Internet in 75 Public Places Across Nigeria

The Nigerian Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved contracts worth N24.20 billion for the provision of free broadband internet access in 75 public places, including 20 airports, tertiary institutions, and markets. The project aims to support micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) across Nigeria.

 

Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Pantami, announced the approval of the contracts during a briefing with State House reporters after the Federal Cabinet meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja.

 

The projects will be implemented by the Nigerian Communications Commission, a parastatal under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.

 

The Minister stated that 20 domestic and international airports, an average of three per each of the six geo-political zones, have been selected for the project. The South West has two airports in Lagos and one in Ondo, while the South East has airports in Imo, Anambra, and Enugu.

 

In the South South, the airports are in Port Harcourt and Akwa Ibom. The North Central has airports in Abuja and Ilorin, while the North West has airports in Kano, Sokoto, and Kebbi. Lastly, the North East has airports in Yola, Maiduguri, and Gombe.

 

The Minister also explained that the project has a minimum duration of four months and a maximum duration of five months. The necessary funds to sponsor the implementation have been secured by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR.

 

The provision of free broadband access in universities is a response to lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic, where many students and staff struggled with limited internet connectivity.

In airports, the project aims to provide internet connectivity to enhance the liveliness of airports and make them more accessible.

 

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Lastly, the provision of free broadband access in markets is to support innovation-driven enterprises and expand their market beyond their local communities. This initiative is in line with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s vision to give global visibility to MSMEs and innovators in Nigeria.