The delay of the 6,000km metro fibre duct connectivity project in Lagos State has left stakeholders with questions about its completion date.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, while delivering a keynote speech at the Art of Technology Lagos 5.0 last week, said the project, originally slated for completion in February 2022, has reached its halfway mark.
On May 14, 2020, the Lagos State House of Assembly approved the unification of fibre infrastructure for telecom companies and the state. This meant the deployment of a single cable duct for all telecom companies and other utility providers operating in the city.
Confirming the progress made in 2021, Hakeem Fahm, the then commissioner for science and technology, told reporters that the state was ahead of schedule, and the project would be completed by February 2022.
Awonuga Gbolahan, chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecom Operators in Nigeria, told BusinessDay that the ongoing 6,000 metro fibre duct project does not disrupt the operations of telecom companies. He said there is already an established operation in place, ensuring continuity for the telcos despite the ongoing development.
“We already have a project called Dig-once policies. This allows for all telcos to come together under one buried conduit provided by the state. This is better because it avoids the problem of different telecom operators digging different conduits that will affect infrastructures. It’s a plug-and-play system that benefits the operators,” he said.
Gbolahan said the anticipated completion of the 6,000km fibre duct project, coupled with the existing system in place, will enhance the telecom ecosystem.
He believes this progress will contribute to making access to internet connectivity seamless and also to transforming Lagos into a smart city, underscoring the positive impact on infrastructure and operational efficiency.
The 6,000km metro-fibre duct would be constructed across Lagos State, according to the governor, to improve digital learning, support telehealth, and ensure an increase in e-commerce, among other benefits. He said the initiative was aimed at creating Lagos a Smart City and that interconnection would also help to balance life and work activities.
The governor said technological advancements are increasing productivity in vital sectors of the Lagos economy. “The transformative impact of technology on the state’s development is profound and has been propelling a remarkable 500 per cent increase in productivity across pivotal sectors, ranging from agriculture to manufacturing.”