The Nigerian Government is looking to commence the operation of a Broadband Internet Service, a Museum and a Planetarium Centre that will generate billions of revenue for the country through a public-private partnership. The Director General, National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), Dr Halilu Shaba, said the projects would enhance staff capacity and create jobs for Nigerians.
According to the DG, the Broadband internet service would increase the fixed broadband penetration for Nigerians with reduced cost. He added that the project would contribute to Nigeria’s aspiration to provide about 90% of Nigerians with cheap, fast, affordable, reliable and high-speed fixed broadband internet. He put the intended cost per gigabyte of data at no more than N390 (USD 0.89)/GB. The goal is to achieve this feat by 2025, as captured in the National Broadband Plan 2020-2025.
Speaking on the Museum and Planetarium, Dr Shaba noted that the Centre had not fulfiled its mandate due to inadequate budgetary allocation. The Centre became operational in 2018 to provide educational and entertainment services to Nigerians about space science, technology and innovation. The DG noted that NASRDA received a proposal from Messrs, Atlantic Factorial Nigeria limited to upgrade, equip, operate and market the facilities having a concession period of 16 years. In his remarks, the Minister of state, ministry of science, technology and innovation Chief Henry Ikechukwu, expressed the Government’s support to ensure the partnership comes to fruition.
Receiving the Business case compliance certificate, the Minister of Science and Technology, Senator Dr Adeleke Mamora, commended the Space Agency for its innovation. He noted that projects were critical to the country’s development, insisting Nigeria must channel technology toward solving the numerous challenges. The Minister also stressed that Government alone could not take responsibility for national development. As a result, he concluded that this necessitated a Public Private Partnership.
According to the Minister, the projects are at no cost to the Federal Government. Furthermore, Messrs, Milly Way Nigeria Limited will manage them, with a shareholding of 70-30% in the first ten years and 60-40% in the last five years of the concession period for private proponent and the federal Government. In addition, the two projects would be presented to the Federal Executive Council for approval through the Minister. Subsequently, Nigeria’s Attorney General of the Federation will clear the concession agreement for commencement.