In order to generate more revenue and funds for the country, the Nigerian government has intended to launch the operation of broadband internet service, a planetarium center, and a museum, and this will be done through a strategic collaboration with a public-private partnership. According to Dr. Halilu Shaba, the Director General of the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), he affirmed that the projects would increase staff capability and generate more opportunities for the country.
The broadband internet service will result in a cost reduction while simultaneously increasing the fixed broadband penetration across Nigeria, the Director General explained. He added that the project would help Nigeria achieve its goal of offering low-cost, high-speed, dependable and affordable fixed broadband internet access to about 90 percent of the country’s population. He estimated that the total cost for one gigabyte of data would not exceed N390 (about $0.89 USD) per GB. In accordance with the 2020–2025 National Broadband Plan, this should be achieved by 2025.
The projects will provide educational and entertainment functions.
While speaking about the planetarium and the museum, Dr. Shaba explained that since those projects became functional in 2018, with the goal of providing educational and entertainment functions to Nigerians, they have not yet fulfilled their purpose because the center lacks adequate budgetary allocation. The DG added that Messrs and Atlantic Factorial Nigeria LTD have submitted a proposal to NASRDA to improve, equip, operate, and market the facilities for a concession term of 16 years. More so, Chief Henry Ikechukwu, the Minister of State, Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, said that the government would help ensure this partnership works.
When presenting the business case compliance certificate, Senator Dr. Adeleke Mamora, the Minister of Science and Technology, commended the Space Agency’s effort to power such innovations. He made the observation that this type of project was essential to the growth of the nation and encouraged Nigeria to focus technology on providing solutions to various problems the country is facing. Additionally, the minister emphasized that the government could not bear the duty for national growth on its own, and he concluded that this called for a public-private partnership.
More jobs and revenue will be generated from the projects.
Broadband is a type of data transmission that sends multiple signals at a wide range of frequencies and internet traffic types at the same time. This lets messages be sent at the same time and is used to make fast internet connections. The medium can be twisted pair, coaxial cable, wireless internet (radio), optical fiber or satellite. This provides fast internet access that is always available and faster than dial-up over traditional analog or ISDN PSTN services, with download speeds of at least 25 Mbps and upload speeds of at least 3 Mbps. More so, the museum will serve as a tourist attraction and a recreational center as it also generates funds.
A planetarium is a facility with a dome through which pictures of the stars, planets and constellations are projected to educate and entertain the general public. In addition, it is anticipated that the projects, which will be carried out by the National Space Research and Development Agency (NARSDA), will result in more than N48 billion in revenue, the creation of more than 10,000 direct and indirect jobs, assist in the fight against insecurity, and will provide internet access to rural areas.
The projects wouldn’t cost the government any amount.
Furthermore, Senator Dr Adeleke stated that this project would not cost the Federal Government anything because Messrs and Milky Way NIG LTD will manage it. The private proponent and the federal government will each hold a share of ownership ranging from 70 to 30 per cent during the first ten years of the concession period and from 60 to 40 percent during the final five years in addition; the minister would submit the two projects for approval to the Federal Executive Council. This would be done through the Federal Executive Council, and then the Attorney General of the Federation would give the go-ahead for the concession agreement to be implemented.