FG to Install 18,000km of Fibre Optic for Broad Band Penetration

  •  To add 4.2GW to national grid

Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja

The Nigeria Industrial Policy and Competitiveness Advisory Council (Industrial Council) has commenced initiatives aimed at accelerating the country’s industrialisation efforts by installing18,000km of fibre optic across the country to improve broad band penetration.

The installation of the fibres to promote digital economy was one of the several initiatives the Industrial Council identified and agreed to implement across five core areas and enablers over the next 12 months at its meeting in Abuja on October 30.

It also sought to embark on select strategic power projects to deliver an additional 4,200 megawatts of electricity into the national grid.

This was made known by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, Tuesday in Abuja.
The Council, chaired by Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, was established in March 2017 by the Federal Executive Council to implement initiatives aimed at accelerating industrialisation using private sector expertise and capital.

The Council also has set up five sub-committees made up both public and private sectors leaders and members of the Council with five focus areas identified as necessary to fulfill its objectives.

These include critical infrastructure; skills and capacity; trade and market access; policy and regulation; and financing.

It also agreed to work on other areas including to initiate the implementation of the recently approved Road Trust Scheme to accelerate construction of national priority roads across the mechanism, implement an apprenticeship programme to bridge the gap between industry skills requirement and supply from educational institutions; and accelerate the implementation of the Nigerian Trade Remedy, Economic Safeguard and Anti-Dumping mechanism.

The primary objective of the Industrial Council is to assist the government in formulating policies and strategies that enhance the performance of a sector or industry in furtherance of the industrialisation program.
Enelamah and the business mogul are Vice-chair while the Minister of State Industry, Trade and Investment Mrs. Aisha Abubakar and Atedo Peterside are alternate vice-chair.

Nigeria will also host the Development 8 (D-8) Ministerial Meeting focusing on Industrial Cooperation from November 14-16 in Abuja.

The meeting will be opened by Osinbajo and hosted by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment.
Enanamah listed D-8 countries to join Nigeria, as Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan and Turkey.

The main objective of the group is to promote the socio-economic development of member countries.
The six priority sectors have been identified in the Industrial and economic cooperation between member states namely: trade; agriculture and food security; industrial cooperation and SME; transportation; energy and minerals; and tourism, which are priority areas for Nigeria.

President Muhammadu Buhari attended the D8 meeting in Turkey two weeks ago.
The D8 presently focuses on 14 subsectors known as the fast forces.
The sectors are automotive, energy, food industry, technology corporation, chemical and petrol- chemical, cement, iron and steel, textile, standardization, SME, electronics and ICT, ceramics, glass,marble and granite, machinery and and pharmaceutical and medical equipment.

On the recent improved ranking of Nigeria on the World Bank Ease of Doing Business Report, the minister expressed delight at the progress made on the World Bank Ease of Doing Business Report, which saw Nigeria rise 24 places from 169th to 145 and featured as one of top 10 economy in terms of improvement.

“I want to reiterate that we’re not resting on our laurels. In fact, this gives us the impetus to work even harder. We are committed to deepening on-going reforms. We are already rolling out the next 60-day action plan that will see us embark on new reforms areas as well as institutionalise the ones currently being enforced”, Enelamah said.