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Nigeria set to deliver Africa’s 3rd longest terrestrial fibre optic backbone

Screenshot 2024 05 14 at 6.51.33 PM

The federal government of Nigeria has launched a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) that will support the delivery of an additional 90,000km of fibre optic cable to complement existing connectivity infrastructure and deliver a stronger national backbone for universal access to the internet across Nigeria.

NaijaOnPoint.com.ng (NOP) reports the Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Dr Bosun Tijani to have said upon delivery, the fibre optic cable will become Africa’s 3rd longest terrestial fibre optic backbone, after Egypt and South Africa.

Dr Tijani made this known shortly after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Tuesday while maintaining that his ministry secured two (2) approvals at the FEC meeting that offer significant opportunities for Nigerians in general, but also specifically for the nation’s digital startup ecosystem.

“The first is the launch of a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) that will support the delivery of an additional 90,000km of fibre optic cable to complement our existing connectivity infrastructure and deliver a stronger national backbone for universal access to the internet across Nigeria.

“Over the last few months, we have  put in extensive groundwork to set up this SPV which will be modelled in governance and operations similarly to some of the best Public-Private Partnership setups in Nigeria, such as NIBSS and NLNG.

“Working with partners and stakeholders from the government and private sector, this SPV will build the additional fibre optic coverage required to take Nigeria’s connectivity backbone to a minimum of 125,000km, from the current coverage of about 35,000km. Upon delivery, this will become Africa’s 3rd longest terrestial fibre optic backbone, after Egypt and South Africa.

“This extensive coverage will enable us optimise the unique benefit of having 8 submarine cables already landed in Nigeria and therefore drive an uptake of the data capacity that the cables offer, beyond the current usage level of 10%.

“Building on our existing work with the Broadband Alliance, this increased connectivity will help plug the current non-consumption gap by connecting over 200,000 educational, healthcare and social institutions across Nigeria, ensuring that a larger section of our society can be included in the benefits of internet connectivity,” Tijani said.

The Minister disclosed that some of the immediate benefits include increasing internet penetration in Nigeria to over 70%, potential reduction of the cost of access to internet by over 60%, inclusion of at least 50% of the 33 million Nigerians currently excluded from access to the internet, and delivering up to 1.5% of GDP growth per capita raising GDP from $472.6 billion (2022) to $502 billion over the next 4 year.

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