By Okeoghene Akubuike
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the concession of Research and Development of Satellite Internet Broadband Project to ensure uninterrupted and high-speed fixed broadband internet penetration in Nigeria.
This is contained in a statement signed by Manji Yarling, Acting Head, Media and Publicity, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) in Abuja on Wednesday.
Yarling said the project, under the regulatory guidance of the ICRC, is owned by the National Space Research and Development Agency, an agency under the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.
According to her, within the 15-year concession period, the project is expected to create over 10,000 direct and indirect jobs and generate over N28 billion.
Yarling said the project would also help in the fight against insecurity.
She said that it would also mitigate the effect of climate change, aid in disaster relief and improve healthcare services, especially for Nigerians in the rural areas.
“It will also aid in the transfer of technology to Nigerians in the area of communication equipment design and manufacturing,” Yarling said.
She said that earlier in the year, the Full Business Case Compliance Certificate for the project was issued by the Director-General of ICRC, Michael Ohiani to the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr Adeleke Mamora.
Yarling said: “Ohiani said the proposed concession will be carried out, using the Design, Finance, Build, Operate and Transfer (DFBOT) PPP model and the preferred bidder for the Project is Messrs Gilat-Eleo Consortium (GO360).
“According to Ohiani at the FBC presentation, apart from ensuring internet penetration to rural areas, the project will also create employment opportunities, generate revenues, improve fixed-broadband penetration and support government’s fight against insecurity.
“In terms of the broadband, we are expecting 10,000 direct and indirect jobs for the 15 years of the concession.
“The project will also bring revenue of N28 billion to the country.’
“Ohiani said that the concession also targets the deployment of over 7,000 Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSATs) all over Nigeria over the next two years.” (NAN)