The federal government has commenced the implementation of phases Two and Three of the N41.6 billion Nigerian Communications Commission’s Broadband Connectivity Interventions in critical sectors of the Nation’s economy.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof Isa Pantami, disclosed this at the letters distribution ceremony to the beneficiary institutions in Abuja.
Pantami stated that the first phase had been implemented 80 per cent after the Federal Executive Council and FEC approved the intervention on 29th March 2023.
According to him, the funds for the interventions were Internally Generated Revenue, IGR from Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC.
He said the phases 2 and 3 broadband connectivity would provide services to 49 Higher Institutions of Learning, 20 Airports and Six Markets.
Pantami added that the total number of interventions across the Country on broadband connectivity is 113.
“The first phase has been implemented on average 80 per cent; in some institutions, the implementation level is up to 90 per cent within that range. Because of this, I feel it is the right time to commence Phases 2 and phase 3.
“On Wednesday, 29th March 2023, I was at the Federal Executive Council where I presented a memorandum for this event we gathered here. The two memos covered 49 higher learning institutions, 20 airports and six markets. So by implication, each memo represents a phase. So we are here for phase 2 and phase 3. The total amount we have committed to this is approximately N41.6 billion.
“The second and third phases are here; we have to provision 20 airports, six additional markets, and 49 institutions of learning. We have prioritized polytechnics in this phase; we will prioritize colleges of education in the next phase.
“All in all, we can safely say we have 113 interventions from this number. Nineteen universities in the first one, one college of education, 20 markets, 49 additional institutions of learning, six additional markets and 20 airports, you can simply say we have 113 interventions so far from the 41.6 billion Naira to be spent as part of our donation to other sectors from our internally generated revenue through the telecommunication sub-sectors”, he stated.
On his part, the Chairman Board of NCC, Prof Adeolu Akande, said the interventions were designed to diversify the Nigerian economy as envisioned by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“It Is a project conceived by the minister for communications and digital economy to drive the quest for the diversification of the Nigerian economy as envisioned by our leader, President Muhammadu Buhari”, he said.
One of the Beneficiary institutions, the Vice Chancellor of Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Prof Lawal Bilbis expressed delight concerning the interventions saying it would boost the digitalization of Nigeria’s educational institutions.
The Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, Captain Rabiu Yadudu lauded the initiative, he said, “It is true airports are connecting points; they are social and economic enablers”.