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Equiano cable: Nigeria Government, NCC pledge enabling policy environment

Equiano cable: Nigeria Government, NCC pledge enabling policy environment

All you need to know about Google's 144 terabit-per-seconds capacity subsea cable, Equiano

Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), and the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, have promised to continue to drive policy initiatives that promote investment in infrastructure in the Nigerian telecom industry in order to deepen connectivity to enhance the nation’s growth and development.

This was said by the duo at the reception marking the landing in Nigeria of Equiano’s undersea Cable System at the Open Access Data Centre in Lekki, Lagos. Pantami and Danbatta expressed their gratitude to Google, the West Indian Ocean Cable Company WIOCC, and other investors who brought additional bandwidth capacity into the country in order to drive connectivity.

Pantami was represented at NCCs event by Adeleke Adewolu the Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management. Danbatta was represented at NCC’s event by Ubale Maska the Executive Commissioner, Technical Services. The event was attended by the NCCs Director for Technical Standards and Network Integrity (Bako Wakil) and the Controller, NCCs Ibadan Zonal Office (Yomi Arowosafe).

The Minister stated that the Federal Government will continue to implement existing policies in support of the digital economy, which were already in place by the current administration through the Ministry. Pantami also promised an environment that encourages foreign investment in infrastructure projects, such as those undertaken by Google and its co-investors.

All you need to know about Google's 144 terabit-per-seconds capacity subsea cable, Equiano

Danbatta commented as well, stating that the Commission’s expectations and initiatives towards increasing broadband penetration, quality service, advancement in a new economy, and commitments toward improving national security via technological advancement are on its priority list of regulatory interventions.

Danbatta expressed delight at Equiano joining the list of submarine cables at the shores Nigerian shores, which includes SAT3 cable and MainOne cable.

A map of installed and soon-to-be installed subsea cables in Nigeria
A map of installed and soon-to-be installed subsea cables in Nigeria…

EVC assured stakeholders that the Commission would ensure that the enormous bandwidth capacity from the cables at Lagos’ shore was transmitted to another part of the country to support robust and ubiquitous infrastructure. This is in line with the digital economy policy that the government has implemented in collaboration with all stakeholders.

EVC expressed optimism about the future Google’s investment in subsea cablesEquiano will play a significant role in NCCs ongoing implementation Nigerian National Broadband Plan 2020-2025. This plan aims to increase broadband penetration to 70% by 2025.

We are optimistic that Equiano, along with the earlier undersea cables, will have additional landing spots in the hinterlands thanks to our collaboration with NCC-licensed Infrastructure Companies. Danbatta stated that this will reduce retail data costs and complement the Commission’s efforts to ensure that affordable Internet services are made available to support ongoing broadband policy initiatives.

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Babajide Sanwo-Olu (the Governor of Lagos State), was present at the unveiling. He stressed the importance of the cable to Nigeria’s efforts to create jobs and increase the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) over three years.

L-R: Federal Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Chief Niyi Adebayo, Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwoolu, Director, West Africa at GoogleJuliet Ehimuan and Chief Executive Officer of WIOCC, Chris Wood at the launch of Equiano in Lagos
L-R, Chief Niyi Adebayo, Federal Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Babajide Sanwoolu, Governor, Lagos State, Chris Wood, Chief Executive Officer, WIOCC, and Director, West Africa, GoogleJuliet Ehimuan, Chris Wood, at Equiano’s Lagos launch

Chris Wood, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), WIOCC described the landing submarine cables as an important investment in Nigeria’s digital economy.

Olaudah Equiiano, a Nigerian hero, was the name of the new cable system. Equiano survived slavery in the 18th Century and went on become a prominent writer and antislavery activist. Besides, the triumph over challenges, which Equiano’s life symbolised, the landing of the cable in Nigeria is expected to underscore Nigeria’s leadership as a regional hub for connectivity, and thus, set to attract cloud operators, content providers, content distribution networks and their associated ecosystems.

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