USTDA partners ipNX on Internet connectivity in Nigeria
• Commits funding to expand fibre-optic network in Lagos, others
In continuation of its 20 years of support for Nigeria’s telecommunications sector, the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), will fund two projects that will help deliver fast and reliable Internet to thousands of Nigerian households using U.S. technological solutions.
USTDA’s Chief Operating Officer and Head of Agency, Todd Abrajano, said the agency is committed to establishing a new era of inclusive, secure and sustainable connectivity in Nigeria through its focus on resilient digital infrastructure that will support its efforts to sustain its economy and provide critical public services during the COVID-19 prevalence and other external challenges.
“It is especially notable that our Nigerian partners selected two U.S. small businesses to execute our assistance and design solutions for a world-class ICT infrastructure that is built to last,” Abrajano added.
U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, said the projects would support the development of the country’s telecoms infrastructure, and help to achieve the goals of the National Broadband Plan (NBP).
Leonard said: “The U.S. Government has committed significant resources to improving telecoms infrastructure in Nigeria, and this support is crucial, as we believe that investment in critical ICT projects will strengthen Nigeria’s economic sustainability plan.”
Specifically, USTDA committed funding to a feasibility study to help ipNX Nigeria Limited expand its fibre-optic network to more than 200,000 residences in Lagos and other locations, including Abuja and Port Harcourt. North Carolina-based CCG Consulting will perform the study.
At the signing ceremony, the Group Managing Director of ipNX, Ejovi Aror, said: “We believe world-class connectivity and broadband Internet access will be pivotal to the digital transformation and socio-economic development of Nigeria. We are very positive this project will play a crucial role in making our belief a reality.”
Aror added that the COVID-19 pandemic has made the case for a vibrant ICT stronger, and the new partnership will bring ipNX a step closer to achieving its mission to continually leverage technology to create innovative solutions that help mankind thrive, while making crucial impact to the lives of Nigerians nationwide.
ipNX Group Executive Director, Commercials, Mrs. Bimpe Olaleye, said: “We appreciate the trust, confidence and support of USTDA to facilitate the design for this expansion. It will see us meet our strategic intent of being the bedrock of the Nigerian ICT ecosystem by providing solutions that help mankind thrive.”
Also present at the virtual event, the Director, Technical Standards and Network Integrity, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Bako Wakil, who spoke on behalf of the NCC Executive Vice Chairman, said: “The support this grant will provide to the telecommunications sector, in particular broadband, is in line with the National Digital Strategy and the National Broadband Plan. The NCC would like to congratulate ipNX as it shows the company’s integrity and commitment to be selected for this grant.”
USTDA also committed funding for a study to help Aldreda Fields Ltd., develop aerially installed broadband networks to connect multiple neighbourhoods across Lagos to broadband infrastructure. The study will be performed by New Jersey-based S2 Associates International LLC.
“Aldreda Fields is delighted to partner with USTDA in the development of a world class metro broadband and fibre infrastructure-as-a-service in Nigeria, to deliver available, accessible and affordable high-speed connectivity for all,” said the Managing Director, Adebisi Adebutu.
These two activities support Access Africa, a USTDA initiative to develop ICT across Africa, and Prosper Africa, a U.S. Government initiative to substantially increase two-way trade and investment between the United States and Africa. Since 1992, USTDA claimed to have funded more than 65 activities in Nigeria.
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