To enhance and attain the health component of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Abia State Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Broadbased Communications Limited to provide fibre optic network across the state.
Speaking with THISDAY in Umuahia, the chief marketing officer of Broadbased Communications, Mr. Chidi Ibisi, said that the fibre optic network would put Abia on the telecommunications super highway and revolutionalise the healthcare delivery system in the state.
According to him, the health centres, numbering over 200 across Abia, would be connected and through e-medicine the rural folks would have access to expert medical services from consultants across the state through video conferencing.
He said that Umuahia and Aba would be wired simultaneously in the first phase of the project, expected to be completed by year end. “The network would connect to every local government. The healthcare services would be enhanced in the rural areas (and) the people would have expert medical services,” he said.
Aside from the healthcare services, Ibisi said that the fibre optic network would engender exponential benefits to other sectors of the economy in Abia, including agriculture, cable television, e-banking, e-government, e-learning, among others.
“Farmers in the rural areas would have access to new methods of farming as extension officers can talk to farmers in the rural areas at the same time through video conferencing,” he said, adding that the state governor can also use the network to make a broadcast.
The chief marketing officer explained that the benefits of Abia’s journey into the information superhighway would be felt everywhere across the state because hospitals, schools, government ministries, departments and agencies, banks would all be connected to the network.
“It is a super highway that can carry everybody, a next generation broadband network that can carry a lot of data,” he said, noting that telecommunications companies operating in Abia could log into the fibre optic network for efficient services.
Special adviser to the governor on NEPAD, Hon Longman Emeka Nwachukwu, who facilitated the fibre optic networking agreement with Broadbased Communications, told THISDAY that Abia was well poised to utilise the full benefits of ICT to drive its development.
He said that government was particularly elated over the health care benefits that the optic fibre network would bring to the state more so as the rural communities would be linked to the network.