Nigeria, through the Federal Government, has received a $100 million loan from the Indian government to boost its broadband connectivity. They received this loan through the EXIM Bank of India.
This deal materialized from a partnership between the Indian High Commission in Nigeria and the Federal Ministry of Communications. It was fully facilitated by Alhaji Adebayo Shittu, the immediate-past Minister of Communications who promised to boost the country’s broadband connectivity to 70% by 2021.
According to Alhaji Adebayo Shittu, Nigeria should be able to utilize available opportunities like securing credit facilities to develop its rural connectivity infrastructure. He noted that India has sufficient broadband connectivity for every area, whereas Nigeria had a mere 30% coverage.
Before this deal, the presidential committees in 2013 had mapped out a 5-year strategy to boost Nigeria’s broadband connectivity by 30%. The strategy, however, wasn’t carried out for years until this recent deal.
The country will leverage this loan to deploy solar-equipped telephone booths to rural communities across Nigeria. Officials from the Ministry has confirmed that about 1000 booths can be built within 12-months, should the country finalise the deal. Through the deal, India will be in-charge of financing the country’s Rural Broadband Network and also the deployment of solar-powered robust masts.