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Nigeria Takes Giant Leap in Internet Connectivity with 90,000km Fiber Optic Expansion

Boom RadioNG | May 15, 2024
Dr. Bosun Tijani Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Federal Republic of Nigeria

The future of Nigeria’s digital landscape is brighter than ever following two major approvals from the Federal Executive Council (FEC). These approvals hold immense potential for all Nigerians, with a particular focus on fostering a thriving digital startup ecosystem.

Boosting Connectivity: A National Backbone for All

The first breakthrough is the launch of a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) tasked with deploying an additional 90,000 kilometers of fiber optic cable. This significant infrastructure addition will significantly strengthen Nigeria’s national internet backbone, paving the way for universal internet access across the country.

A Public-Private Partnership Model for Success

The SPV, modeled after successful public-private partnerships like NIBSS and NLNG, will collaborate with government and private sector stakeholders. This collaboration aims to expand Nigeria’s fiber optic coverage from the current 35,000km to a minimum of 125,000km. Upon completion, this network will become the third-longest terrestrial fiber optic backbone in Africa, trailing only Egypt and South Africa.

Unlocking the Potential of Existing Infrastructure

This extensive fiber optic network will unlock the true potential of Nigeria’s existing eight submarine cables. Currently, only 10% of the available data capacity is being utilized. The increased connectivity will allow for better optimization, driving down data access costs and boosting overall internet usage.

Connecting the Unconnected: Bridging the Digital Divide

Building on partnerships like the Broadband Alliance, this initiative aims to bridge the digital divide. The increased connectivity will connect over 200,000 educational, healthcare, and social institutions across Nigeria. This will ensure greater societal inclusion in the benefits of internet access.

Dr. Bosun Tijani Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Federal Republic of Nigeria

Dr. Bosun Tijani Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Federal Republic of Nigeria

Benefits for All Nigerians:

This project promises a range of exciting possibilities for Nigerians:

  • Increased internet penetration: Over 70% of Nigerians could have access to the internet.
  • Reduced internet access costs: Costs could potentially drop by over 60%.
  • Digital inclusion: At least 50% of the currently unconnected 33 million Nigerians could gain internet access.
  • Economic growth: Up to 1.5% of GDP growth per capita is projected, potentially raising Nigeria’s GDP from $472.6 billion (2022) to $502 billion over the next four years.

This significant investment in internet infrastructure signifies Nigeria’s commitment to a brighter digital future, empowering its citizens and fostering a thriving digital startup ecosystem.

Written by Boom RadioNG

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