Federal Gov’t Approves 90,000km Fiber Optic Cable, Aims 60% Internet Cost Cut

Federal Gov't Approves 90,000km Fiber Optic Cable, Aims 60% Internet Cost Cut

Minister of Communication, Innovation and Digital Economy, Bosun Tijani, has disclosed that the federal executive council (FEC) has approved two critical projects for the digital economy and technology startup ecosystem.

Speaking to State House correspondents after the two-day council meeting on Tuesday, he said the first project has to do with the setting up of a special purpose vehicle (SPV), a public-private partnership (PPP), to deploy 90,000 kilometers of fiber optic cable across Nigeria.

He explainied that this will increase the country’s total fiber optic cable to 125,000 kilometers, making it the third longest terrestrial fiber optic cable in Africa.

He said the project aimed to address the current underutilisation of Nigeria’s eight submarine cables, which are only being used to about 10%, adding that the deployment of additional fiber optic cables is expected to improve internet quality and reduce prices by about 60%.

This investment is projected to contribute 1.5% growth in Nigeria’s GDP over the next four years.

The project, according to Tijani, also aimed to plug the non-consumption gap in connectivity by connecting over 200,000 educational institutes, government offices, and critical infrastructures like hospitals that are currently not connected, saying this will have a significant impact on the digital economy and technology startups in Nigeria.

He disclosed that the second project involves converting the Nigerian property in San Francisco, USA, into a Nigerian startup house, which he said would provide a hub for Nigerian technology startups to access funding and investors in the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley, which are recognised globally as major sources of startup ecosystem funding.

Last year, investors in the area invested $1.3 billion into technology startups in Nigeria, and the goal was to increase and improve foreign direct investment (FDI) to technology startups from the region.

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