The Nigerian government has approved two memos from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) seeking to provide free broadband networks for 20 Nigerian airports across the country's six geopolitical zones.
In addition to this, the memos also established the provision of free broadband connection to 43 higher institutions, having previously approved 18 earlier and six market/SME hubs within the country.
The cost of providing these broadband infrastructures to higher institutions and airports is ₦18.95 billion, while the second approval was for the provision of broadband to some selected markets, costing ₦5.25 billion. These are expected to cost ₦24.2 billion (~$52.5 million).
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, disclosed this information during a press briefing following the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari on March 29.
According to Pantami, the NCC will provide internet facilities at designated airports and institutions. The designated airports and institutions include three airports in Nigeria's six geopolitical zones and 43 higher institutions, comprising universities and polytechnics.
The broadband infrastructure will ensure connectivity in airports, ease e-learning in schools, and enhance the transition to a cashless economy by easing mobile transactions in markets.
But this is not the first time that the government has made this move. Back in 2019, the FEC had previously approved a memo for unlimited internet provision at 18 universities as part of the project's first phase.