The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said the State is recording remarkable progress with the ongoing fibre connectivity across its 18 local government areas, noting that the internet connectivity project is about 97 percent completed.
The Governor Godwin Obaseki-led state government has, in the past six years, sustained reforms and programmes to guarantee the right physical and digital infrastructure to drive sustainable growth and development in the state, leveraging technology.
Speaking to journalists in Benin City, the governor said, “We are building a solid digital backbone for Edo people as this is a project that the future of Edo State would rest on.”
Obaseki further added, "We are connecting fibres across every local government area to ensure connectivity and promote digital services. All the local government offices are linked as the project is going to link all our schools.
"All our primary health care centers will be linked to enable us to improve our patients’ record and increase telemedicine service, among others as we would deliver services to our people at their place of residence. It will be very useful for our citizens.”
The fibre connectivity project is aimed at bolstering the government’s efforts at expanding its digital space and pushing up the commerce potential of all Edo local councils, thereby improving the livelihoods of the people and reducing rural-urban drift.
The government recently introduced 24-hour free WiFi service in various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and other public places within the Benin metropolis to provide unlimited Internet access to workers and other members of the public, in the wake of the three-day weekly work schedule for civil and public servants as part of efforts to cushion the effect of the fuel subsidy removal by the Federal Government. The free WiFi service is being expanded to other local government areas in the State, in line with its digital economy drive.
Noting the progress with the internet connectivity across the State, the Managing Director of Edo State Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA), Goodluck Igbinedion, said the project aims to build a digital infrastructure and ICT digital hub across the State and develop a knowledge economy for the State to export skills.
He said the project will also support and encourage efficiency and effectiveness in the public service, drive entrepreneurship and innovation within the State, improve GDP growth and productivity, and enhance the social well-being of the people, especially the youths of Edo State.
On his part, a representative of the Edo State Digital Transformation Project Team, Babatunde Faworot, while noting the progress with the State’s digital expansion drive, said, “The scope of the project is across the 18 local government areas of the State. We are 97 percent complete in terms of civil works. We have done all the cabling as we have all the cables needed. We are working in all local government areas of the State and have worked more in some than others.”
He added, "We are building the Edo digital hub across the State and have begun work in Benin City, Uromi, Ekpoma, and other areas across the State and have timelines for the project. As of today, we have delivered all the 500 kilometers of fibre cables and the electronics that are involved and started installation in all the local government areas in the State.”