Bank offers FG $100m loan for rural internet

EXIM Bank of India has arranged $100 million loan for Nigeria to enable extend internet services to rural areas of the country.

The facility came as the result of a close collaboration between the India High Commission in Nigeria and the Federal Ministry of Communications. The deal was

The loan from India is expected to accelerate the deployment of solar-based mobile telephone sites in the country’s vast rural areas. Officials of the communication ministry privy to the details of the plan said no fewer than 1,000 sites can be built within 12 months once the two countries seal the agreement.

The latest statistics from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has indicated that broadband subscription stood at 63.2 million while actual broadband penetration increased to 33.13 per cent in May this year.

“For this reason, we have redirected our effort at getting solar-based masts which will also have 50km radius so that if you have a land area of 100km, you will have two masts. It is cheap to maintain and all operators can depend on it, rather than having the rural operators to construct their own masts or lay their own cables.

Although the Nigerian communications industry has attracted huge investments of recent, experts believe that a robust telecommunications network is important for economic growth in the country.

Indeed, Prof. Umar Dandatta, executive vice chairman of NCC has noted that while the present portfolio of $68 billion investment in Nigeria is huge, it is by no means adequate for one of the fastest growing telecommunications markets in the world.