FG approves N24.2b for free Internet in airports, varsities, markets.

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

Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Pantami, made the disclosure after the meeting, chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Abuja.

His words: “President Buhari has approved two memos for the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). In these two memos, certain intervention projects are going to be implemented by the Federal Government, through NCC, of providing Internet in 20 selected airports in Nigeria and higher institutions of learning, and also some markets to support micro, small and medium enterprises.

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“The two memos are related. Memo number one is the award of a contract for the provision of broadband in some selected domestic and international airports. Twenty of them are going to be covered in the first phase of the project.

“In each geopolitical zone, you have about three airports. So, all these airports are going to be covered and the Federal Government will provide broadband for free to passengers that are coming through the airports.

So, in 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 NCC.

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“The duration for the project is four months minimum and maximum of five months, and there is a budgetary provision for that.”

Similarly, the cabinet sanctioned two major contracts for construction of a Centre of Excellence for environmental restoration in Khana Council and a 100-bed specialist hospital in Ogoni, both in Rivers State.

Minister of Environment, Mohammed Abdullahi, said the projects are to facilitate efficient and cost-effective approaches to contamination management and environmental restoration, while supporting the welfare of the people, who have been negatively impacted by environmental degradation arising from years of oil exploitation and exploration.

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