In order to support micro, small, and medium-sized businesses, the Federal Executive Council yesterday approved two contracts totaling N24.20 billion for the installation of broadband for free internet in 75 public locations, including 20 airports, tertiary institutions, and markets nationwide.
The projects would be carried out by the Nigerian Communications Commission, according to Isa Ali Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy.
He claimed that an average of three airports were chosen from each of the six geopolitical zones among the 20 domestic and international airports that were chosen.
He said, “In the South West, you have two in Lagos, you have in Ondo. For South East, you have in Imo, Anambra, and Enugu. For South South, you have in Port Harcourt, Akwa Ibom. For North Central, you have in Abuja and Ilorin. For North West, you have Kano, Sokoto and Kebbi. For North East, you have in Yola, Maiduguri and Gombe.
“The duration for the project is four months minimum and maximum of five months and there is a budgetary provision for that.”
According to Pantami, the current administration had already secured the funding needed to carry out the projects.
“For universities, it’s because we learned bitter and better lessons during the COVID-19; we don’t want to go back to that, and we want to make sure that students and staff get unlimited internet access.
“For airports, we are aware of the challenge posed by landing without connectivity. Therefore, if there is at least free internet connectivity, it will at the very least make our airports more lively.
Thirdly, we try to give our innovators, our micro, small, and medium enterprises global visibility so that their market is not going away, and we support innovation-driven businesses that are supported by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. while we try to give global visibility to our innovators, to our micro, small and medium enterprises so that their market is not going to be narrowed and restricted only to our local communities”, he explained.