…Moves to Increase Internet Penetration from 16% to 90%
As part of the plan to develop the digital economy in Ekiti State, the State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the O’odua Infraco Resources Limited to lay a 606-km broadband infrastructure across the State.
The project is expected to lift the state from 16% internet penetration to 90% and is estimated to be worth N5 billion, with the Federal Government contributing N1.1 billion of the total sum.
The development came barely a week after the Governor signed an executive order reducing the right of way charges from N4, 500 to N145 per meter.
Fayemi, who led the state government’s team at the MoU signing that took place at the Governor’s Office, Ado-Ekiti, explained that the move was in line with his administration’s commitment to the promotion of the knowledge economy, which is one of the five pillars of his government’s development plan.
Recall that at a meeting of the Executive Governors of all 36 states on the 22nd of January 2020, the governors had resolved to adopt the 2013 resolutions reached by the National Economic Council (NLC) which agreed on a maximum RoW charge of N145 per linear metre of fiber in a bid deepen broadband penetration in the country and promote a Digital Economy for a Digital Nigeria and ensure the success of the National Broadband Plan (NBP) which was launched by President Muhammadu Buhari on the 19th of March 2020.
The Governor, who explained that the reduction in the cost of laying fibre in the State has already generated healthy competition within the ICT sector, stressed that the project would open up significant opportunities, attract new businesses and enhance quality healthcare service delivery as well as digital education.
He said the initiative would not only turn Ekiti into a digital hub but a destination of choice for domestic and international technology companies.
Speaking further, Fayemi said a Digital Infrastructure Committee, made up of various relevant government institutions critical to the implementation of the project, would coordinate the broadband policy.
The Governor noted that these decisions would help generate healthy competition within the ICT sector, thus activating Ekiti state’s digital economy and digital education.
Fayemi noted that the project execution, as well as the broadband policy in the state would be coordinated and supervised by a Digital Infrastructural Committee, made up of various relevant government institutions critical to the implementation of the project.
“For us the roadmap is first the fibre connectivity itself, the second is the adequate data center infrastructure, the third is the e-learning programme which will cover our educational institutions, then our safe city, our security programme will also be included.
“With our geographical land information system (GIS), we would digitalize all our land records, and of course, commercial investment as well as digitalisation of our government assets and our health education initiative,” Fayemi explained.
According to the Managing Director of O’odua Infraco Resources Limited, Mr Sammy Adigun, the project will be officially flagged off in October and completed within 14 months.