In what is yet another validation of the drive of the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration on innovation and technology, Edo State has, again, gained global recognition for the government’s investment in digital infrastructure through the ongoing state-wide fibre optic connectivity project.
The state government is in partnership with leading global firms including MainOne, Facebook and Global Independent Connect Limited (GICL), among others for a state-wide internet deployment to enhance connectivity and expand the state’s digital economy. As a part of the deal, surveillance cameras are to be installed to improve security in the state.
A recent report by The Guardian UK, titled, “Facebook’s fibre optics in Nigerian state put Africa pivot in focus,” noted that “Edo’s governor, Godwin Obaseki, has in recent years driven a digitisation agenda that touches on many areas of ordinary life, and tech companies have become fundamental parts of it.
The report disclosed that since 2019, at least 400km (250 miles) of cables have been laid in Edo, with the government committing “to building business and technology hubs, expanding internet access for entrepreneurs, tech workers, government agencies and schools.”
The Guardian UK further noted that “Faster internet supplied through the cables has underpinned a drive to change the way the government in Edo works.”
“The state’s previously analogue civil service now uses an online government portal supported by partnerships with Microsoft and using fibre-optic internet access provided by MainOne and Facebook,” the report quoted Emmanuel Magnus Eweka, a former senior government official.
Eweka further added, “The level of accountability this system brings is so effective. Right now, if a case file is sent to a civil servant from the governor’s office, the governor can see exactly when it is opened, and whether it has been actualised. So the days when you send one file somewhere and it gets lost in the system are gone.
“Schools in Edo and areas where fibre-optic cables can be accessed have benefited from subsidised internet connectivity and are also working with Microsoft-based learning programs, improving the quality of education.”