The Federal Government of Nigeria has awarded a N7.2 billion contracts for the deployment of broadband infrastructure in 18 tertiary institutions across Nigeria.
According to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, each of the projects will cost N400 million, as approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
Aside from the universities, the Minister said 20 markets selected across Nigeria will also benefit from the broadband infrastructure projects.
The projects are part of moves to achieve 70% broadband penetration in the country by the year 2025, as set in the Nigeria National Broadband Plan (NNBP 2020-2025).
The Universities: Speaking during the award of the contracts letters in Abuja, Pantami said 18 institutions of higher are the first set to benefit from the broadband initiative of the government. On how they arrived at the number, he said 3 were selected from each geo-political zone of the country.
The beneficiary institutions, which comprise 17 universities and 1 College of Education, include the University of Lagos; Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife; University of Nigeria, Nsukka; Federal University of Technology, Owerri; Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka; University of Calabar; University of Benin; and the University of Port Harcourt.
Others are Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria; Bayero University, Kano; Umaru Musa Yar’Adua University, Katsina; Borno State University; Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi; Gombe State University; Federal University of Technology, Minna; University of Ilorin; University of Abuja; and College of Education (Special), Ibadan.
The Markets: Similarly, Pantami said 20 markets, 3 from each geo-political zones have been selected to benefit from the broadband projects. The markets include the popular Computer Village in Lagos; Wuse market in Abuja; Kantin Kwari Market, Kano; Central Market, Lafia, Nasarawa State; Mandate Market, Ilorin; Jos Main Market, Plateau State; Jimeta Central Market, Yola; New Market, Gombe; Monday Market, Maiduguri; Central Market, Gusau, Zamfara State; Central Market, Katsina, Katsina State; and Bodija Market, Ibadan, Oyo State.
Others are Oja Oba, Akure, Ondo State; Kuto, Abeokuta, Ogun State; Ariaria International Market, Aba, Abia State; International Modern Market, Owerri, Imo State; Main Market, Onitsha, Anambra State; Watt Market, Calabar, Cross River; Oba Market, Benin, Edo State; and Swali Market, Yenegoa, Bayelsa State.
The Minister said the broadband projects will improve the quality of education in Nigerian schools and link local businesses with the international community for economic growth.