Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has continued his push towards the digitalisation of his State by expressing his government’s readiness to commit a whopping N5billion to boost Digital Businesses in the State.
The governor, who hinted this while signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the O’odua Infraco Resources Limited to lay broadband infrastructure along 606 kilometres across the State, further revealed that the project was a N5billion investment of which the Federal Government would contribute about N1.1billion.
The development came barely a week after Governor Fayemi became the first governor to sign an executive order reducing the right of way charges from N4, 500 to N145 per linear meter.
Fayemi, while throwing more light on the MoU, explained that the broadband policy will be coordinated by a Digital Infrastructural Committee, made up of various relevant government institutions critical to the implementation of the project.
He said the initiative will not only turn Ekiti into a digital hub but a destination of choice for domestic and international technology companies.
Fayemi, who explained that the reduction in the cost of laying fibre in the State has already generated healthy competition within the ICT sector, stressed that the project would open up significant opportunities, attract new businesses and enhance quality healthcare service delivery as well as digital education.
“For us, the roadmap is first the fibre connectivity itself, the second is the adequate data centre infrastructure, the third is the e-learning programme which will cover our educational institutions, then our safe city, our security programme will also be included.
“With our Geographical Information System (GIS), we would digitize all our land record, commercial investment as well as digitalisation of our government assets and our health education initiative.”
The project, expected to be completed in 14-months according to the Managing Director of O’odua Infraco Resources Limited, Mr Sammy Adigun, would be officially flagged off in October and added that the broadband project will lift Ekiti from 16 per cent Internet penetration to 90 per cent.
The Commissioner for Infrastructure and Public utilities, Mr Bamidele Faparusi said that the project would be completed within fourteen months, and maintained that all the streets in Ekiti would have Internet fibres.
He announced the readiness of the State government to provide additional incentive to the communication industry in line with its timeline of development goals especially the knowledge economy.
The Permanent Secretary, Ekiti State Ministry of Infrastructure and Public Utilities, Mr Olumide Ajayi pointed out that the project would impact meaningfully on the state after completion.