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Minister says submarine cable investments hit N2.2tn, mute on why it’s not felt

The Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, has disclosed that investments in submarine cables in the country have risen to N2.2tn, at the Nigeria Internet Governance Forum (NIGF) in Abuja.

However, he maintained silence on why the needed impacts of the massive investments have remained elusive.

In the last five years, a number of deep pocket investors had ventured into the project of submarine cables with the sole reason of delivering broadband from the cables to the hinterland using optic fibre, but the challenges of Right of Way (RoW) and forex have frustrated the investors as virtually all of them are now stocked at the seashores of Lagos.

Some of the companies whose cables had since landed include MTN, MainOne, Glo and others, but accessing roads and arterial routes across states had been compounded by different states governments who charge throat-cutting rates on RoW.

Several stake holding associations including the ATCON, ALTON and even a consortium of submarine cables investors had visited the federal government to convince states in making RoW flexible than seeing applications for RoW as a money making venture.

In the last few months, there had been several assurances by the federal government that an understanding had been reached between the apex government and states governors to provide condusive environment to encourage deployment of broadband infrastructure but checks amongst submarine cables investors this week showed that no headway had been seen so far.

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