BrandArena: Nigeria: FG Set to Provide Internet Access to 774 Local Government Areas, Create Over 300 Jobs

Tuesday 20 February 2024

Nigeria: FG Set to Provide Internet Access to 774 Local Government Areas, Create Over 300 Jobs

Nigeria’s Ministry of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy has initiated ‘Project 774 LG Connectivity,’ an initiative aimed at providing internet access to all 774 local government secretariats in Nigeria. The project, which is estimated to create over 300 jobs directly and indirectly, seeks to improve digital access.

The initiative is a collaboration between Bosun Tijani, the Minister of CIDE, Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited, and Galaxy Backbone. It supports President Bola Ahmed Tinubu's Renewed Hope Agenda.

The primary objective of Project 774 LG Connectivity is to rectify the restricted digital access prevalent in various areas by offering reliable and reasonably priced Internet access and resources. Consequently, Internet connectivity will not be exclusive to government offices and will extend to communities, fostering citizen engagement and promoting inclusive growth.

The project’s execution strategy is multifaceted, comprising infrastructure development, capacity building, digital inclusion, and monitoring and evaluation. Infrastructure development involves investing in broadband infrastructure such as fibre-optic cables, wireless networks, and satellite connectivity. This focus is particularly relevant given the reported 10.7% decrease in Nigeria’s broadband penetration towards the end of January 2024.

In the first phase of the 3 million technical talent programme launched in October 2023, the Federal Ministry of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy collaborated with the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA). This initiative seeks to foster Nigeria’s technical talent and propel the nation’s digital economy, aligning with the Federal Government’s Renewed Hope agenda.

In January 2024, the government disclosed plans to digitise public services as a measure to safeguard citizens’ data. As part of Project 774 LG Connectivity, the initiative also involves Galaxy Backbone, a government IT services provider.

Interestingly, between 2018 and 2022, the proportion of Internet users in Nigeria surged from 26% to beyond 38%. By 2027, it is forecasted that 60% of the country’s populace will have Internet access. This highlights the increasing importance of projects like Project 774 LG Connectivity in staying ahead of the rising demand for digital services and Internet access.

In other development, on March 14, 2023, the Nigerian government had unveiled a $618 million tech fund aimed at young investors in the country. The initiative is designed to provide financial support to those seeking investment in Nigeria’s burgeoning tech and creative industries.

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