FEC approves N24.2bn for free internet facilities in airports, markets
Nigeria’s cabinet has approved N24.2 billion for the provision of Internet facilities at 20 airports, some institutions of learning and markets across the country.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, disclosed this when he briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the Council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari Wednesday in Abuja.
According to him, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) will spearhead the provision of the Internet facilities at the designated airports and institutions.
He said: “The Federal Executive Council has approved two memos for the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) a parastatal under the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.
”In these memos, certain intervention projects are going to be implemented by the NCC.
“Internet will be provided in 20 selected airports in Nigeria and higher institutions of learning as well as some markets to support micro, small and medium enterprises.
”A contract was awarded for the provision of broadband in some selected airports. 20 of them are going to be covered in the first phase of the project.
”You have three airports in each geo-political zone.
”In South-West you have two in Lagos State, one in Ondo State; South-East you have Imo, Anambra and Enugu States will benefit; Rivers and Akwa-Ibom States for South-South.
”North Central has the Federal Capital Territory and Kwara States; Kano, Sokoto and Kebbi States will benefit from the North-West, while Borno, Adamawa and Gombe States will benefit from the North-East Region.”
According to him, the Internet broadband will be provided for free for use by passengers coming to the airports, adding that a sustainability model has been developed for effective maintenance of the facilities.
He also announced that 43 higher institutions of learning would be linked to the Internet facility.
“Some of them are universities, some polytechnics and the price for the contract which covers the airports and institutions of learning is N18.95 billion.
”The second approval was for the provision of broadband to some selected markets, at the cost of N5.25 billion.
”The total for both memos is N24.20 billion and the project is going to be implemented by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC),” he explained.
Also addressing the correspondents, the Minister of Environment, Dr Mohammed Abdullahi, revealed that the Council approved N41.4 billion for the construction of a Centre of Excellence for environmental restoration in Kana Local Government Area of Rivers.
He said: ”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.”
According to him, 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.”
The minister added that the council also approved N18.3 billion for the construction of a specialist hospital for the people of Ogoni in Rivers.