The Kaduna State Government has announced a strategic and exclusive partnership with leading telecommunications services provider, Airtel Nigeria, to modernize and digitalize its entire telecoms and network infrastructure as well as deploy Broadband services across the State.
Speaking recently during an MOU signing ceremony with the leadership of Airtel Nigeria, Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El Rufai, said the partnership is a significant step in improving the quality of life and boosting productivity in the State as the entire world has gone digital while noting that the government under his leadership is in a hurry to deliver on its electoral promises as well as empowering and transforming lives.
According to El Rufai, the partnership with Airtel “is a major landmark for us as an administration because since we came into office we have identified about 41 locations in Kaduna State that are black-spots that have no telecom services at all. We have been pursuing the NCC to deploy the Universal Service Provision Fund to fill those gaps without much success.
“Our aspiration is for every part of Kaduna State to have minimum of 3G coverage. We are very grateful to Airtel for agreeing to be our partners in achieving this aspiration. 3G coverage is the minimum we need in this century for people to pursue quality lives and livelihoods. We believe in that very strongly and we are prepared work with you to achieve that.”
The Kaduna State governor also noted that the agreement will build even higher levels of penetration of digital technologies to every nook and cranny of Kaduna State while commending Airtel for not only providing services that enhance lives and livelihoods, but also providing timely interventions through its Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives.
In a remark, the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Airtel Nigeria, Segun Ogunsanya, said: “Today marks an important milestone for all of at Airtel Nigeria. We are not only excited by this partnership with Kaduna State to deploy broadband services across the State but we are inspired as this project aligns with our corporate purpose of connecting people, empowering Nigerians and touching lives.
“With this partnership, Airtel will deploy broadband services in Kaduna and provision 4G services across key cities in the state specifically Kaduna, Kafanchan and Zaria while also upgrading 3G services and providing Internet access and network connectivity across the entire state.
“I believe that Broadband is a universal human right that should not be denied anyone. It bridges the gap between prosperity and poverty. It lifts so many people out of poverty. So many studies on how broadband can transform life has been done and some of these studies say that for every one or two percentage increase in broadband penetration, it can actually increase GDP by up to 10%. For me, access to broadband is as good as connecting to electricity and water. With this project, many will be lifted out of poverty in Kaduna and I really look forward to this project.”
Following the MOU signing ceremony, Airtel Nigeria will work with Kaduna State Government to immediately commence the project with a timeline of upgrading 3G services across the entire state by end of 2022 and also deploying 4G services across key cities in the state specifically in Kaduna, Kafanchan and Zaria. The project scope also includes deployment of fibre network across the entire state.