The Nigerian government is planning to deploy 18,000 kilometers of fiber optic cables in order to make optical connectivity throughout the country so that Nigeria can make itself ready for industrialization. The Nigeria Industrial Policy and Competitiveness Advisory Council, set up in March 2017 and running under the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, has commenced initiatives to accelerate the country’s industrialization by installing fiber optic cable nationwide to improve broadband penetration.
Nigerian government realizes that broadband services are necessary to attract more investment to the country. The installation of fiber optic cables to promote digital economy is one of several initiatives the Industrial Council identified and agreed to implement in five core areas and enablers over the next twelve months at a meeting in Abuja on 30 October. Apart from broadband, It also sought to begin strategic power projects to deliver another 4,200 MW of electricity into the national grid.
The Industrial Council has set up five sub-committees made up both public and private sectors leaders and members of the Council with five focus areas identified as necessary to fulfill its objectives. These are critical infrastructure, skills and capacity, trade and market access, policy and regulation, and financing.
The national broadband council of Nigeria had approved four landing stations in four states for the Main One submarine cable system. The project is financed by the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) and will construct landing points for international submarine cables in Rivers, Bayelsa, Cross River, and Ondo. Prior to this project, Nigeria had only one landing station at Lagos for the international submarine fiber optic cables.
Submarine fiber optic cables operated by Main One, NITEL, MTN, and Globacom utilize the landing point at Lagos for their operation. NITEL owns SAT 3 submarine fiber cable system, whereas MTN has ownership in West Africa Cable System (WACS). Connectivity through international fiber optic lines is key to the development of an internal network for a country. Nigeria takes advantage of its coastal areas to build landing stations for submarine fiber optic cables that were laid to connect Europe and South Africa.