By: Leon Usigbe – Abuja
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved a contract worth N24.20 billion for the provision of free broadband internet connectivity in 20 of the nation’s airports.
Also to be provided with free internet connectivity are 43 schools and six market places across the country.
Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Prof Isa Pantami, revealed this while briefing correspondents at the end of the council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa, Abuja on Wednesday.
According to him, the selected local and international airports are drawn from the six geopolitical zones, with three airports from each on average.
Similarly, the higher institutions of learning and markets that will benefit from the five-month project are selected from the geopolitical zones.
Pantami explained that the broadband infrastructure will ensure connectivity in airports, ease e-learning in schools and as well enhance the transition to cashless economy by easing mobile transactions in markets.
Speaking on the memos he presented to FEC, the Minister stated: “In these two memos, certain intervention projects, are going to be implemented by the federal government of Nigeria through the Nigerian Communications Commission of providing Internet in 20 selected airports in Nigeria and higher institutions of learning and also some markets to support micro small and medium enterprises.
“In each geopolitical zone, you have around three airports. In the southwest, we have Lagos and Ondo. For the South-East, we have Anambra and Enugu.
“For the South-South, we have Port Harcourt and Akwa Ibom. For the North-Central we have Abuja and Ilorin. In the North-West, we have Kano, Sokoto and Kebbi. For the North-East we have Yola, Maiduguri and Gombe.”
Forty-three higher institutions including federal and state universities and polytechnics are also to benefit from the initiative.
FEC had in 2022 approved a similar memo for the provision of unlimited internet in 17 universities and one college of education.
Pantami added: “So, this one is the second phase of the project. And in the first memo approved today, we have 20 airports, both domestic and international.
“And in addition, we also have 43 institutions of learning. So in total, 63 institutions are going to benefit and the price for this is N18.95bn.
“The second memo is for the provision of broadband to selected markets…six markets are going to benefit from this and the price is N5.25 billion.”
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