Facebook, MainOne chose to invest in Edo because of Obaseki’s reforms, says Opeke


The Chief Executive Officer of MainOne Cable Company, Funke Opeke, has said that the investment by Facebook and MainOne in broadband network infrastructure in Edo State is as a result of Governor Godwin Obaseki’s ease of doing business reforms and commitment to boosting productivity through technology.

Opeke, who disclosed this in an interview with journalists, said that the project in Edo is part of Facebook’s mission to connect people around the world via the internet.

MainOne has been laying fibre cables across the state since November last year, in what is seen as a major step to firm up the state’s burgeoning technology ecosystem, after the launch of the Edo Innovation Hub.

Noting that the investment is part of the 750km open-access fibre infrastructure in Nigeria implemented with MainOne, she said, “The overarching focus for Facebook is improving internet connectivity and empowering partner operators such as MainOne with the tools to build networks to connect more people.

“With our partnership with Facebook, we have invested in building new infrastructure in states like Ogun and Edo that is open-access and can be used by all operators. You may recall that the major challenge impeding broadband proliferation in Nigeria is the limited access to distribution   infrastructure   to   get the abundant internet capacity available in submarine cables on the Nigerian shoreline in Lagos to the hinterland.”

She said that the leadership in Edo State prioritises technology development, which is why the project was able to scale through in the state.

According to her, “Our work brings our team in contact with the leadership in many of the states.  These particular states have leadership that is promoting the development of technology ecosystems and job creation in their states.  When we had the opportunity to engage and share with them our capabilities    and    accomplishments  on  previous  projects  in  places  such  as  the  deployment  of fibre infrastructure for Silicon Yaba  with  CCHub,  the  deployment   of   Express   Wi-Fi   with   Tizeti  in  Lagos  as  well  as  our aspirations for pervasive broadband   everywhere   in   Nigeria, they  welcomed  us  to  build  infrastructure in their states.

“The Edo State government has prioritised technology as one of the cardinal pillars of the ongoing reform agenda in the state, introducing ICT-compliant pedagogy in primary schools; building the Edo Innovation Hub, where school leavers and graduates undergo beginner and advanced training in technology, as well as revamping technical education to increase productivity. The     duo     of     Governors Godwin  Obaseki  and  Ibikunle Amosun  have  identified  ICT  as  critical  themes  for the  transformation  of  their  states  and  have  been supportive of our fibre expansions.”