Nigeria Secures Approval to Expand Fibre Optic Network by 90,000km

New SPV to expand Nigeria’s fibre optic network by 90,000km, boosting internet access and economic growth.

Announced on X by Dr. ‘Bosun Tijani, Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, the Federal Republic of Nigeria unveiled two significant approvals benefiting Nigerians, particularly the digital startup ecosystem.

The first approval is for the launch of a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) aimed at bolstering Nigeria’s connectivity infrastructure with an additional 90,000km of fibre optic cable. This initiative aims to strengthen the national backbone, ensuring universal internet access across the country.

Months of groundwork have been dedicated to establishing the SPV, which will operate similarly to successful Public-Private Partnership models like NIBSS and NLNG. In collaboration with government and private sector partners, the SPV will extend Nigeria’s connectivity backbone to a minimum of 125,000km, positioning it as Africa’s third-longest terrestrial fibre optic backbone, after Egypt and South Africa.

The expanded coverage will optimize Nigeria’s existing advantage of eight submarine cables, driving increased utilization beyond the current 10% usage level.

Moreover, this initiative builds upon the Broadband Alliance’s work, aiming to bridge the digital divide by connecting over 200,000 educational, healthcare, and social institutions across Nigeria. This inclusivity targets to extend internet benefits to a larger segment of society.

Immediate benefits of this expansion include increasing internet penetration to over 70%, potentially reducing internet access costs by over 60%, and including at least 50% of the 33 million Nigerians currently without internet access. Economically, this initiative forecasts a 1.5% growth in GDP per capita, elevating Nigeria’s GDP from $472.6 billion (2022) to $502 billion over the next four years.

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