2Africa subsea cable to land in Nigeria this month
Nigeria’s deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, Benjamin Kalu, has welcomed the forthcoming landing of the 2Africa subsea cable in Lagos and Akwa Ibom states.
The lawmaker expressed his anticipation of the benefits it will bring, on Tuesday, while receiving a delegation, at the National Assembly Complex, from Meta Platforms (formerly Facebook). The senior company representatives present included Meta’s vice president of Public Policy for Africa, Kojo Boakye, and Meta’s director: West Africa, Adaora Ikenze.
Separately, speaking at the Global Tech Africa Conference today, Abdulahi Kashifu, director general, National Information Technology Agency, confirmed that the cable will be landing in Nigeria, this month.
When completed, the 2Africa subsea cable project will encircle Africa, and, at 45,000km, will be the world’s longest undersea cable to date.
The cable is backed by Meta, and its arrival follows on the heels of the 12,000km Google-backed Equiano undersea cable, which landed in April 2022.
In a statement, Kalu welcomed Meta’s contributions to Nigeria’s digital economy, particularly its investments in fibre optic cables, mobile partnerships, and business support for entrepreneurs and small and medium scale enterprises.
Kalu said: “The news of the 45,000km subsea cable landing is particularly exciting and commendable, given its potential socio-economic impact on the country.”
Beyond the socio-economic update, Kalu said the investment in the 2Africa subsea cable landing will improve the quality of telephony services across the country.
Nigeria's Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, Bosun Tijani noted in a recent report that the country requires new and increased investments for 95,000km of fibre optic cables to improve the quality of telephony services across the country.
Kalu identified that once the cable has landed there will be a need for further investments, as well as other regulations, to leverage the benefits it offers. He said that by January 2024, his office will be convening a sectoral policy dialogue, in collaboration with Advocacy for Civic Engagement Centre, focusing on information technology and innovation.
The lawmaker also noted that the Nigerian government will act responsibly in the deployment of AI, and that it would be done in a manner that guarantees national security.
He said: “As a government, we are committed to fostering innovation and responsible use of AI and emphasis on the responsible use of AI.”