Internet: FG okays N24.2bn for 20 airports, 43 schools, 6 markets

The federal government Wednesday approved the sum of N24.20 billion for the provision of broadband internet connection in at least 20 airports, 43 schools and six marketplaces nationwide.

A similar project was approved in 2022 when the council passed a memo for the provision of internet facilities in 17 universities and one college of education.

Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Pantami, revealed this to State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The project, he said, would be implemented by the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC).

The minister said the selected local and international airports were drawn from the six geo-political zones, with three airports from each on the average.

He also said the higher institutions of learning and markets to benefit from the five-month project were also drawn from the geo-political zones.

Pantami also 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.

He said: “In these two memos, certain intervention projects are going to be implemented by the federal government of Nigeria through the Nigerian Communications Commission of providing Internet in 20 selected airports in Nigeria and higher institutions of learning and also some markets to support micro small and medium enterprises.

“In each geopolitical zone, you have around three airports. In the southwest, we have Lagos and Ondo. For the South-East, we have Anambra and Enugu.

 “For the South-South, we have Port Harcourt and Akwa Ibom. For the North-Central we have Abuja and Ilorin. In the North-West, we have Kano, Sokoto and Kebbi. For the North-East, we have Yola, Maiduguri and Gombe.”

He also said, “The broadband project also extends to 43 higher institutions of learning at federal and state levels,” including federal and state universities as well as polytechnics.

“So, this one is the second phase of the project. And in the first memo approved today, we have 20 airports, both domestic and international.

“And in addition, we also have 43 institutions of learning. So in total, 63 institutions are going to benefit and the price for this is N18.95bn.

“The second memo is for the provision of broadband to selected markets… six markets are going to benefit from this and the price is N5.25bn,” he said.

…N41.4bn project in Rivers too

Also, the FEC approved N41.4 billion for the construction of a centre of excellence for environmental restoration in Kana Local Government Area of Rivers State.

Minister of Environment Mohammed Abdullahi said this while briefing State House correspondents at the end of the meeting.

“I presented two memos, one was for the award of contract for the construction of a centre of excellence for environmental restoration in Kana Local Government Area of Rivers State in the sum of N41, 472, 263, 848.60 with a completion period of 24 months,” he said.

Abdullahi said the centre is to facilitate an efficient and cost-effective approach to contamination management and environmental restoration as well as provide training on environmental remediation.

“The centre will contain an admin block, auditorium; research building as well as male and female dormitories, library and clinic among others,” he said.

The minister said the council also approved for the construction of a specialist hospital the sum of N18.3 billion for the people of Ogoni, also in Rivers state.