Nigeria’s First Bank and Others Finance US$240 Million for MainOne Fibre Cable

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

First Bank of Nigeria Plc in collaboration with Skye Bank and African Finance Corporation (AFC), have signed a US$240 million financing deal with MainOne Cable Company, a private sector-led initiative with Main Street Technologies as sponsor.

The deal is for the construction of a sub-sea cable to deliver a 1.92 therapy per second capacity bandwidth that will provide international and internet connectivity to countries between Portugal and South Africa on the West coast of Africa.

A statement from FisrtBank said the cable which is being built by world renowned telecoms giant, Tyco Telecommunications, will enable more Africans to have access to the Internet.

It said the signing ceremony which took place in Lagos last Thursday, commences the installation of undersea fiber optic cable from Portugal to Nigeria to meet the needs of multiple load/lay or fast track programs like the Internet. Tyco Telecommunications' role is to put the appropriate vessel with the necessary tools in the right place at the right time for the installation.

The Chairman of MainOne, Fola Adeola, said the project, on completion in June 2010 will increase the country's and indeed Africa's access to the Internet which in itself will spur growth in technological development and increased human capacity.

Managing Director of FBN Capital and representative of the FirstBank Group, Mr. Bayo Adeleke, commended the audacity and vision behind the project, describing it as a compelling innovation and a major infrastructure project that will transform lives.

He said FirstBank is involved in the project because of its long commitment to the nation's development.

The MainOne cable system will have a design capacity of 1.92 Tbps, representing approximately 10 times the current capacity available on the West Coast. With MainOne therefore, international bandwidth prices will reduce, in addition to bandwidth intensive services such as IPTV, HDTV etc being easily provided within the region.

Daily Trust