The federal government said it would spend N41.6 billion to provide broadband to 49 higher institutions, 20 airports and 6 markets across the country in its second and third phase broadband penetration projects.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, stated this while presenting certificates to 49 higher institutions who will benefit from the second and third phase of the projects in Abuja on Thursday.
The FG had in November 2022 unveiled phase one of the project to support 24 higher institutions of learning, micro, small and medium enterprises and markets.
The higher institutions which are drawn from the six geo political zones of the country include universities, polytechnics and colleges of education.
He said the broadband infrastructure would ensure connectivity in airports, ease e-learning in schools and ease mobile transactions in markets as the economy goes cashless.
According to the minister, the fund was gotten from the Internally Generated Revenue from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
“The money is not from federal allocation, the money is from our internally generated Revenue and we have decided to spend it to promote education, commerce and support other activities within the country because what we can generate, other sectors cannot be able to generate,” he said.
He tasked the institutions on maintenance and sustenance of the projects.
“At the ministerial level we have developed our sustainability model, however, that will not be sufficient unless you develop your in house model,” he said.
He disclosed that the ministry has other ongoing projects in higher institutions aside the N41.6 billion broadband projects.
He said, “We are building a digital economy park in the University of Ibadan. Recently we approved another one at Usman Dan Fodio University in Sokoto, we still have another one that was approved at the Federal University of Technology Owerri, Imo state.”
In her vote of thanks, the vice chancellor of Lagos state university, Prof. Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello, said the project will enhance teaching and learning.