There would be free internet access in Kaduna provided by Google inc. in Kaduna by 2019. The plan to provide WI-Fi Google stations in Kaduna and four other cities across Nigeria was disclosed at the 2018 edition of the Google for Nigeria event in Lagos, Nigeria.
The Google Nigeria Country Director, Julier Ehimuan-Chiazor, announced that 200 Google stations would be set up in Lagos, Kaduna, Port Harcourt, Ibadan and Abuja by 2019. She said that the project provide free internet which would address affordability and access to data for more than 10 million Nigerians if successful.
“One of the challenges we found was access to data. Broadband penetration is low and are not reliable and there are challenges with affordability; just allow many Nigerians benefit from the digital economy. We are very excited to be able to launch in collaboration with partners,” she said.
“We are starting in Lagos with four sites, and the commitment is to expand to 200 sites across five cities in Nigeria by 2019. There are opportunities that are available once people get online and are able to consume information,” she concluded. Another top official of Google Nigeria also disclosed that initiative would only begin in Nigeria but would extend to other countries in Africa.
Responding to the initiative, the Vice-President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osibanjo disclosed that the federal government of Nigeria would give all support required for the success of the program. He said in his keynote address at the event that this administration would continue to support all initiatives that would promote the development of ICT in Nigeria. He also disclosed that the innovation center that would be unveiled at the Enterprise Development Center of the Lagos Business School was in line with this objective.
“We have established innovation hubs across the nation from Ventures Hub in Abuja, to Edo State Government’s Edo Innovate project in Benin and the Humanitarian Innovation Center in collaboration with the North-East Innovation Hub and the International Committee of Red Cross. We are committed to building an ecosystem that will drive innovation. We are investing in training 5,000 developers as part of the N-Power tech program,” Osinbajo added.