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18 universities, 20 markets get FG’s approval for N16.7bn broadband access



18 universities, 20 markets get FG's approval for N16.7bn broadband access
The Federal Government has approved the sum of N16.7bn for the provisions of broadband infrastructures in 18 universities and 20 markets in the six geopolitical zones.

The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Pantami, disclosed this on Thursday in Abuja at the launch of broadband infrastructure Project and the unveiling of his book titled, “Skills Rather than Degrees”, which was organized by The Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC).

Speaking at the event, Prof. Pantami said the approval is aimed at deepening broadband penetration, address infrastructural deficit challenges confronting broadband penetration and services coverage and pave way for economic advancement.

“A second broadband initiative being launched today is for the provision of broadband infrastructures for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSMEs), tertiary and higher learning institution across the country.

“I presented the programmes to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on the 26th October, 2022 and obtained approval for its implementation. This programme cost the government N16.7bn. It will provide broadband access to 20 markets and 18 schools across the 16 geopolitical zones of the country”.

“This will be significantly enhance the quality and ease of access across our markets and educational institutions and will also deepen broadband penetration across the country.

Prof. Pantami listed the beneficiary tertiary institutions to include: the University Of Lagos, College Of Education (Special), Ibadan, as well as Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.

Others were: the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Federal University Of Technology, Owerri and Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, The University of Calabar, University of Benin, University of Port Harcourt, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Bayero University, Kano, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua University, Katsina, Borno University, and ATBU, Bauchi.

Also included were: Gombe University, Federal University of Technology, Minna, University of Ilorin and University of Abuja.

For his part, FCT Minister, Malam Mohammed Bello, in his address commended Prof. Pantami for the giant strides recorded so far in the ICT sectors of the economy, especially in the areas of national identity, digital financial inclusion and broadband penetration.

Mallam Bello, explained that he’s has been able to encourage broadband penetration within the FCT, as the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) would provide 90% discount by collecting N14.50k per linear meter for any telecommunication companies that want to deploy broadband services within green areas in the FCT.

The Executive Commissioner (Stakeholder Management) of NCC, Adeleke Adewolu earlier in his remarks noted that there is no gain saying that education in the 21st century increasingly requires strong, speedy and reliable use of the internet.

He pointed out that broadband penetration not only fosters GDP growth through creates jobs, but also stimulates innovation in other social premises, leadong to improve quality of education, innovation, creativity and economic freedom, through making the internet accessible and available to all.

Earlier in his book presentation title: “Skills Rather Than Just Degrees”, the minister said the book identified the challenges confronting Nigerian tertiary institutions, and focused on the importance of skills, creative thinking, team work, training. its potential impact in addressing the problems of unemployability, unemployment and underemployment.

“I am very delighted to unveil my latest book. “I am passionate about the importance of skills and have been speaking about this at many events. This book is a research and productive work implementing the paradigm shift that I am advocating’”, he said.

“I am very delighted to unveil my latest book. “I am passionate about the importance of skills and have been speaking about this at many events. This book is a research and productive work implementing the paradigm shift that I am advocating’”, he said.

The book’s forward was written by President of Microsoft Corporation and US Attorney, Brad Smith promotes skill acquisitions among Nigerian youths, undergraduates and graduates alike to match global job needs.

Dignitaries at the event include heads of agencies under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Heads of other Federal government agencies, and Ambassador.

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