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Federal Govt earmarks N24.2b for free Internet in airports, varsities, markets

In order to provide free broadband Internet connectivity in 75 public locations nationwide, including 20 airports, tertiary institutions, and marketplaces, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) yesterday approved two contracts totaling N24.20 billion.

Prof. Isa Ali Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, disclosed this information following a meeting at the State House in Abuja that was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

President Buhari has authorized two memos for the Nigerian Communications Commission, in his own words (NCC). 

In these two memos, the Federal Government, through NCC, plans to put into action a number of intervention initiatives, including the provision of Internet in 20 chosen airports in Nigeria, higher educational institutions, as well as various markets to promote micro, small, and medium-sized businesses.

“The two memos have a connection. The first item on the memo list is the contract award for the installation of broadband in a few particular domestic and international airports. At the initial stage of the project, 20 of them will be covered.

Around three airports are present in each geopolitical zone. Hence, all of these airports will be covered, and the Federal Government will offer free broadband to travelers passing through the airports.

The project will be carried out by NCC, and it will cost around N24.20 billion to offer broadband to these institutions, as stated in both memos.

“The project will last for a minimum of four months and a maximum of five months, and funding has been allocated for that.”

The cabinet also approved two significant contracts for the development of a 100-bed specialty hospital in Ogoni, both in Rivers State, and a Centre of Excellence for environmental rehabilitation in Khana Council, both in the state of Rivers.

According to Mohammed Abdullahi, the environment minister, the initiatives would support effective and economical methods for managing contamination and restoring the environment while promoting the welfare of the populace, which has been adversely affected by environmental degradation brought on by years of oil production and exploration.

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