Nigeria Approves Ambitious Fiber Optic and Startup Hub Initiatives to Boost Digital Future


The Nigerian government has approved two significant initiatives that are expected to have a substantial impact on the country’s digital future. Firstly, they have approved a massive 90,000 km fiber optic cable project, which aims to expand Nigeria’s national internet backbone to reach a total of 125,000 km. This will make Nigeria’s terrestrial backbone the third-largest in Africa.

The project will involve a public-private partnership model, similar to successful collaborations like NIBSS and NLNG. The goal is to significantly strengthen Nigeria’s national internet infrastructure and achieve universal access across the country.

The second initiative is the creation of a startup hub that will support the country’s digital ecosystem. According to the Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Dr. Bosun Tijani, these projects are expected to bring about numerous benefits, including:

– Improved utilization of existing submarine cable capacity, boosting data accessibility beyond the current 10% usage.
– Collaboration with the Broadband Alliance to connect over 200,000 educational, healthcare, and social institutions, promoting digital inclusion.
– Increased internet penetration, potentially surpassing 70%.
– Potential cost reduction for internet access by over 60%.
– Bridging the digital divide by including at least 50% of currently unconnected Nigerians (33 million).
– Up to a 1.5% boost in GDP per capita, potentially raising Nigeria’s GDP from $472.6 billion (2022) to $502 billion within four years.

Overall, these initiatives are seen as crucial steps in Nigeria’s quest to strengthen its digital infrastructure and foster a thriving digital ecosystem.

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