Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti
Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, has, as part of his administration’s commitment towards the development of the digital economy in the state, on Thursday, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the O’odua Infraco Resources Limited to lay broadband infrastructure along 606 kilometers across the State.
A statement on Friday by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Yinka Oyebode, revealed the development came barely a week after the Governor signed an executive order reducing the right of way charges from N4,500 to N145 per meter.
Fayemi, who led the state government’s team at the MoU signing that took place at the Governor’s Office, Ado-Ekiti, explained that the move was in line with his administration’s commitment to the promotion of the knowledge economy, which is one of the five pillars of his government’s development plan.
The Governor, 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.
He said, the initiative will not only turn Ekiti into a digital hub but a destination of choice for domestic and international technology companies.
Speaking further, Fayemi, said 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.
Explaining the area of coverage for the execution of the broadband initiative, the Governor said; “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.
“Our geographical land information system (GIS), we would digitalize all our land record. Of course, 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. He added that the broadband project will lift Ekiti from 16 percent internet penetration to 90 percent
He further revealed that the project was a 5 billion investment of which the Federal Government would contribute about 1.1 billion naira.
The Commissioner for Infrastructure and Public utilities, Mr Bamidele Faparusi who also spoke at the event announced the readiness of the State government to provide additional incentive to communication industry in line with its timeline of development goals especially the knowledge economy.