The Nigerian government through the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy has today announced a joint project between the Government and Microsoft to develop high-speed internet infrastructure across the six regions in the country.
This joint project was announced by the Special Assistant on Digital and New Media to the Presidency, Tolu Ogunlesi.
Joint announcement by @MicrosoftNG and @NigeriaGov:
“Following discussions with @FMoCDENigeria and local partners, six regions in [Nigeria] have been earmarked for the development of high-speed internet infrastructure.” #InvestNigeria https://t.co/IL2zrfCxgd
— tolu ogunlesi (@toluogunlesi) May 3, 2021
This partnership belies the discussions between Microsoft, the Federal Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy, and other local partners where the six regions of the country were earmarked for the development of high-speed internet infrastructure.
Microsoft said its Airband team will work closely with local partners to improve broadband connectivity in Nigerian communities and assist with the design and implementation of hyper-scale cloud services.
“The technology is cheaper and faster to deploy than fiber and has the added benefit of being able to travel long distances and through forested terrain.”
“Microsoft’s Airband Initiative has succeeded in bringing high-speed internet connectivity to underserved communities around the world, tapping into the unused broadcasting frequencies of television white spaces.”
Microsoft President, Brad Smith said, “We believe in the future of Nigeria, and we are excited as a company to add to our investments.” Adding that “Together, we have an enormous opportunity to put technology to work, create jobs, to foster the technology ecosystem across Nigeria, and to use technology to preserve the best of the past and take us into the future.”
Internet penetration in Nigeria is currently around 50% and while the pandemic has increased the pace of digitization, much needs to be done to empower all citizens to take advantage of the opportunities of a digital economy. The statement said.