Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 17 January 2020

Nigeria to invest $732 million to boost broadband infrastructure

The government wants to increase connectivity and help diversify the economy away from oil

Nigerian government wants to increase connectivity for the nation’s almost 200 million people to boost business and help diversify the economy. George Osodi/Bloomberg
Nigerian government wants to increase connectivity for the nation’s almost 200 million people to boost business and help diversify the economy. George Osodi/Bloomberg

Nigeria plans to invest 265 billion naira ($732 million) in broadband infrastructure over the next four years as the government sets its sights on nationwide coverage and to boost an economy recovering from a 2016 contraction.

The government will provide 65bn naira for the project and six private infrastructure companies the balance under a public-private partnership, according to Umar Danbatta, the chief executive of the Nigerian Communications Commission.

The government of Africa’s biggest producer of crude oil wants to increase connectivity for the nation’s almost 200m people as part of a drive to boost business and help diversify the economy away from the commodity.

The West African nation plans to roll out an additional 30,000 kilometers (19,000 miles) of fiber across its 774 local governments, taking the total to 71,000 kilometers by 2024, Danbatta said in a telephone interview from the nation’s capital, Abuja. The penetration rate could rise to 65 per cent from 38 per cent, he said.

The commission plans to start the project this year after obtaining government approval, Mr Danbatta said. “There will be data everywhere in the country and it will be cheap.”

Updated: January 10, 2020 05:16 PM

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