The Nigerian government has secured a $100 million loan from the EXIM Bank of India, through the Federal Ministry of Communications — a deal said to have been facilitated by Adebayo Shittu, the country’s former Minister of Communications.

According to local media reports, the loan is expected to accelerate the deployment of solar-based mobile telephone sites in the country’s vast rural areas, citing officials of the communication ministry privy to the details of the plan who said that no fewer than 1,000 sites can be built within 12 months once the two countries seal the agreement.

The plan is said to be in line with the government’s determination to extend telephone services to all rural communities at relatively affordable cost while ensuring that identified bottlenecks experienced in urban areas are minimised.