By Oluwatobi Opusunju
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is to commercialise some of its ICT infrastructures as part of an overall business plan to expand the portfolio of services by the oil giant as well as assist in helping the country to achieve her National Broadband Plan (NBP). The NBP targets a 30% broadband penetration by 2020.
This was made public by the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr Maikanti Baru during a meeting held recently at the NNPC Towers in Abuja with the Minister of Communications, Barr. Adebayo Shittu.
According to him, the ICT infrastructure up for commercialization include over 960 kilometres of fiber optic cable laid between Lagos, Benin, Warri, and to Kaduna on the NNPC pipeline Right of Way (ROW), 52 remote Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) stations nationwide and two network centres connecting all NNPC depots and pump stations in Nigeria.
“Our look-ahead plan is to commercialise our fibre optics cable network utilising NNPC pipeline Right of Way that cuts across the entire country. Some of the benefits of this initiative include the opportunity to provide backbone carriage to meet the national 2020 plan for broadband penetration in the country,” Baru said.
Baru also pledged the Corporation’s readiness to support the Ministry of Communications in creating a robust ICT ecosystem in line with the Ministry’s vision to foster an effective governance and service delivery as well as ensure ease of life for the citizens.
“We are committed to supporting the ministry of communications to realise its ICT dreams which will not only ensure effective governance and service delivery in the country but will also make life easier for Nigerians”, he pledged.
Barr.Shittu while commenting on the supports NNPC has pledged to give the Ministry lauded Baru for “bringing a new lease of life to the NNPC,” through what he said are reforms that were in accordance with the change agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration for the country
Shittu also requested for the NNPC’s support towards some of the ministry’s initiatives that are underway like the proposed ICT university, the reforms in Nigeria Communication Satellite (NIGCOMSAT), the Nigerian Postal Service’s (NIPOST) bank and transport company as well as the proposed ICT park and exhibition centre.
“With these initiatives, our intention is to continue to make the business of governance much easier for our teeming population, especially those in the rural areas,” Shittu said.