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Just In : FG approves N24.2bn free internet service for Nigerians

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Just In : FG approves N24.2bn free internet service for Nigerians

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The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved two contracts worth N24.20 billion for the provision of broadband for free internet in 75 public places, including 20 airports, tertiary institutions and markets nationwide.

This was disclosed to State House Correspondents by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Pantami, after the Council meeting, which was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

According to the various ministers who spoke at the post-FEC media briefing, an aggregate sum of N209.36 billion was approved for various projects.

Giving a breakdown of his own approvals, Pantami said his two memoranda were related, since they both were focused on providing free internet connectivity services, explaining further that the second one was complementary to a similar approval last year.

“So both memos, you will discover that they will provide broadband to these institutions at the price of approximately N24.20 billion and the project is going to be implemented by the Nigerian Communications Commission

“The duration for the project is four months minimum and a maximum of five months and there is a budgetary provision for that. Also, the fund to sponsor the implementation has been secured by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR.

“For universities, it’s because we have learned bitter and better lessons during the COVID-19, so we don’t want to go back to that, we want to ensure that students and staff benefit from unlimited internet. For airports, we know the difficulty when you land without any connectivity. So it will even at least make our airports more lively, if there is at least internet connectivity that is for free.

“Thirdly for the market, it’s to support innovation-driven enterprises that are being championed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where we try to give global visibility to our innovators, to our micro, small and medium enterprises, so that their market is not going to be narrowed and restricted only to our local communities”, he explained.

The council also approved two major contracts for the construction of a Centre of Excellence for environmental restoration Wiiyaakara in Kana council area of Rivers State and a 100-bed specialist hospital in Ogoni.

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