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Google Equiano cable: FG providing enabling environment for investments, says Pantami

Google Equiano cable: FG providing enabling environment for investments, says Pantami
April 23
20:46 2022

Isa Pantami, minister of communications and digital economy, says the federal government remains committed to providing an enabling environment that encourages foreign and local investments in the country.

According to a statement issued on Saturday by Ikechukwu Adinde, NCC director of public affairs, the minister, who was represented by Adeleke Adewolu, NCC’s executive commissioner, stakeholder management, spoke at the Access Data Centre in Lagos on the sidelines of the event to mark the landing of the Equiano undersea cable system in Nigeria.

On Thursday, Google announced the arrival of its Equiano submarine cable in Lagos.

The subsea cable, which offers fifth-generation (5G) mobile service, will run from Portugal along the West Coast of Africa connecting Europe to Togo, Nigeria, Namibia, South Africa, and Saint Helena.

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Speaking on the development alongside Umar Danbatta, executive vice-chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the minister said the federal government will always drive policy initiatives that promote investment in infrastructure in the telecoms industry in order to deepen connectivity and enhance the nation’s growth and development.

He commended Google, the West Indian Ocean Cable Company (WIOCC), and other investors for bringing additional bandwidth capacity into the country to drive connectivity and growth.

Pantami added that the federal government, through the ministry, will drive the implementation of existing digital economy-oriented policies put in place by the current administration. 

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On his part, Danbatta, represented by Ubale Maska, NCC executive commissioner, technical services, said the commission’s expectations, initiatives, and vision towards increasing broadband penetration, quality of service, advancement of a digital economy, and commitment to improving national security through technological advancement, are on the priority list of its regulatory interventions.

He said the Equiano submarine cable has joined the list of other submarine cables on the shores of Nigeria, and assured stakeholders of the commission’s commitment towards ensuring that the huge bandwidth capacity from the cables in Lagos would be transmitted to different parts of the country. 

Danbatta said he is optimistic that Google’s investment will help drive the ongoing implementation of the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP) 2020-2025, which aims at increasing broadband penetration to 70 percent by 2025.

“We are hopeful that Equiano, together with earlier undersea cables in the country, will have additional landing points in the hinterlands through collaborative efforts with NCC-licensed Infrastructure Companies (InfraCos),” he was quoted as saying.

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“This will help to reduce retail data prices significantly and thereby complement the commission’s efforts at ensuring that affordable internet services are available to boost the commission’s ongoing broadband policy initiatives.”

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