The Ministry of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, has set up a National Broadband Alliance for Nigeria (NBAN) to stimulate adoption and consumption in key public institutions.

The Ministry disclosed this in a white paper released over the weekend.

The institutions being targeted include schools, hospitals, government offices, libraries, and markets, among others.

According to the Ministry, the purpose of the Alliance is to tackle the low and non-consumption challenge and its resultant poor return on investment (ROI) in the nationwide fiber network.

It added that the Alliance was also created to foster collaboration for broadband development and adoption, as well as to position Nigeria at the forefront of the global digital landscape.

Giving further details about the Alliance the Ministry said:

“The National Broadband Alliance for Nigeria is a multi-stakeholder collaboration aimed at spearheading a concerted effort to achieve universal broadband access across the nation.

Recognizing the imperativeness of broadband in economic development, the alliance will bring together key stakeholders from the public and private sectors, as well as civil society, to collaboratively develop a sustainable business model(s) for driving the adoption and consumption of internet in key critical public institutions (schools, hospitals, government offices, libraries and markets etc) across the nation.“The alliance will also serve as a platform for government agencies, telecommunication companies, technology providers, and civil society organizations to coordinate efforts and share resources in support of the Ministry’s agenda for nationwide expansion of broadband services. With the national desk at the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the NBAN nodes hosted by sub-national governments (states) will work closely with regulatory bodies to streamline processes and remove obstacles hindering the swift deployment of broadband networks.”

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It added that the Alliance will drive digital inclusion and awareness to ensure the inclusion of all segments of society in the digital economy and benefit from the advantages of broadband connectivity.

The Alliance is also expected to collaborate with international partners and organizations to leverage expertise and resources for accelerated implementation and adopt a phased approach, with short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals aligning with the National Broadband Plan.

The Communications Ministry further exply that the pilot phase of the initiative will kick off in 7 states of the country before the end of Q1 2024.

The initial states are Edo, Ogun, Kwara, Katsina, Imo, Abia, Borno and Nasarawa.

These initial states have been considered using their present broadband investment and management of fiber optic challenges in their respective states such as waiver of the Right of Way fee.