Nigeria negotiates $ 100 million loan from India to expand rural connectivity

On the sidelines of India’s Economic and Technical Cooperation Day, held in Abuja on 17 January 2019, Nigeria’s Minister of Communications Adebayo Shittu revealed that the federal government is currently negotiating a concessional loan $ 100 million from the Indian government. The money will be used to develop rural connectivity.

The minister said that the money will be part of the US $ 10 billion concessional loan over five years that India agreed in 2015 to grant to African states for the implementation of projects related to their national priorities.

According to Adebayo Shittu, who spoke with local media, ”  Nigeria must be ready to take advantage of the opportunities available; one of them is the securing of a credit line for the development of rural communication infrastructure. In India, as vast as the country is, each zone has access to broadband connectivity, everyone has access to the Internet. It’s the opposite in Nigeria. We have barely exceeded the connectivity rate by 30%  . “

However, with this initiative, without electricity, the telecom masts that will be installed and will run on solar energy, will enable the country to connect rural areas, said the Minister of Communications. 

Abhay Thakur, India’s High Commissioner to Nigeria, said his country has already received Nigeria’s project report and is under review. ”  India is deeply interested because we really have a lot of expertise in the field of building broadband networks  ,” he added.

According to the Indian diplomat, if the project is validated, the pilot phase would start in Oyo State, before being replicated in the other 36 states.

Source: Agence Ecofin