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Nigeria to invest $732 million to boost broadband infrastructure




The federal government says plans are on ground to invest 265 billion naira ($732 million) in broadband infrastructure over the next four years as it sets its sights on nationwide coverage to boost an economy recovering from a 2016 contraction.

According to chief executive officer of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Umar Danbatta, the government will provide 65bn naira for the project and six private infrastructure companies the balance under a public-private partnership.

The government wants to increase connectivity for the nation’s almost 200m people as part of a drive to boost business and help diversify the economy away from the commodity.

The government plans to roll out an additional 30,000 kilometers (19,000 miles) of fiber across its 774 local governments, taking the total to 71,000 kilometers by 2024, Danbatta said in a telephone interview from Abuja. The penetration rate could rise to 65 per cent from 38 per cent, he said.

The commission plans to start the project this year after obtaining government approval, Mr Danbatta said. “There will be data everywhere in the country and it will be cheap.”