Nigeria seeks 95 000 km of new fibre cable to increase connectivity
Nigeria's minister of communications, innovation, and digital economy, Bosun Tijani, says the country requires new and increased investments in fibre optics cables of around 95,000 km in order to improve the quality of telephony services across the country.
Tijani welcomed and complimented the work of Nigerian telecom carriers, emphasising that they are doing a lot to keep the economy going, but the country needs more.
According to him, the quality of services has recently deteriorated as a result of a variety of factors, including vandalism and theft, necessitating increased expenditure.
"So many times, these cables are destroyed by those constructing roads or doing other things on the road," he stated. “The robbers have also vandalised some of the cables. And this is happening all around the country.
"Anytime this happens, it puts pressure on the network, it takes away the backbone that supports the network, so people are moved to another infrastructure, which many times becomes congested and piles pressure on the network, which eventually results in poor services."
According to Bosun, the ministry is working to guarantee that the President designates telecoms infrastructure to be key national infrastructure.
This means that, once declared, anyone who tampers illegally with telecoms infrastructure would face jail time. He stated that this is being done to ensure that firms that rely on Internet/connectivity do not fail due to inadequate service.
The minister also stated that the National Communications Commission is working on increasing investment in that sector.
He stated that this is because the more fibre optic cables Nigeria has, the higher the quality of service and even 5G services will be.
"Right now, we need approximately 95,000 kilometres of these cables across the country. So far, the private sector has laid around 35,000 km. Part of our mandate in this government is to complete 70% of the 95,000km of fibre as quickly as possible. In fact, we will be tracking this development virtually quarterly to see how we are progressing, and as we improve that number, services in the country will improve.
"In the meantime, we are working with telcos to ensure that they do the right thing and once that is done, they will improve customer services among others."