From left — Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment; Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State; Juliet Ehimuan, Director, West Africa at Google, and Chris Wood, CEO, WIOCC, at the official launch of Equiano Cable in Nigeria, today, Thursday, April 21, 2022.

By Prince Osuagwu, Hi-Tech Editor

Google has unveiled plans to inject over  $10.1 billion into the Nigerian economy in the next three years through its Equiano submarine cable.

The cable, which landed in the shores of Lagos today, is said to have the capability of also creating six million jobs within the same period.

The landing of the cable was witnessed by the Governor of Lagos, Babajide Sanwo Olu and other prominent dignitaries, including representatives of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy and Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC.

Google landed the cable with its partner WIOCC, a prominent African digital backbone company.

The state-of-the-art Equiano subsea cable will become a critical element in meeting Nigeria’s current and future international connectivity demands.

Speaking at the landing site in Eleguishi, Lekki Lagos, Director, Google West Africa, Juliet Ehimuan said: “Google is committed to supporting Africa’s digital transformation and we are excited to see the impact of the landing of Equiano in Nigeria.

“We’ve worked with established partners and in-country experts to guarantee that Equiano has the greatest potential effect in Nigeria and throughout Africa.

“Equiano is set to make an enduring contribution towards the development of Nigeria’s communications infrastructure and today marks another major step in its development.

“We look forward to honouring our commitment to be part of Africa’s digital transformation,” Ehimuan added.

Economic value

She also boasted that the cable, when it begins first phase of capacity spread in the country, will make economic impact by boosting GDP by USD 10.1 billion by 2025 and job creation by 1.6 million by 2025.

It will also make connectivity impact by increasing internet speeds by a factor of six, reducing internet retail prices by 21 percent and increasing internet penetration by six percentage points.

Chief Executive Officer of WIOCC, Chris Wood, also said: “We are proud to have been selected by Google as the landing partner for the Equiano cable in Nigeria, landing the cable directly into the OADC Lagos data centre.

“From there it will be extended to other data centres across Lagos.

“The Equiano cable will deliver improved internet quality, speeds and affordability to the people of Nigeria.

“However, for the benefits to be fully felt throughout Nigeria, hyperscale connectivity needs to be extended from the Lagos area to the rest of the country. To make this happen, WIOCC is also deploying a comprehensive, hyperscale national fibre network, in partnership with Phase3 telecom.

“The network will go live in phases, starting in June and continuing through to the end of the year.

“When combined with the Equiano cable this network will deliver transformational benefits across the country.”

Olaudah Equiano

The Equiano cable was named after Nigerian-born writer and abolitionist, Olaudah Equiano.

The cable ran Portugal in western Europe, through more than 12,000km along the West Coast of Africa and initially landed in Lomé, Togo and now in Lagos, Nigeria. 

It will also move to Swakopmund, Namibia; Rupert’s Bay, Saint Helena and Melkbosstrand, South Africa; establishing a valuable new high-capacity connection between the African continent and Europe.

Google says with a design capacity roughly 20 times larger than any other cable currently serving the region, the Equiano subsea internet cable will have a direct impact on connectivity, resulting in faster internet speeds, reduced internet prices and improved user experience in Nigeria.

Vanguard News

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