The administration of the immediate-past Governor of Rivers State, Dr Peter Odili committed N.3billion to rural telephony in collaboration with Nigeria's Second National Carrier, Globacom. Under the state's sustainable development initiative, the government made a counterpart payment of N.329 billion to Globacom to erect Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) in all the remote and riverine areas of the state for ease of communication between the communities and the larger world.

At the commissioning of one of the BTS’s in Akpajo, Eleme Local Government area of the state last weekend, Odili said this was one of his parting gifts to the people of the state. "We saw that most telecommunications companies would not be willing to erect their cost intensive infrastructure in the very remote areas which promise no immediate economic viability to them. This was why we decided to partner with Globacom to bring rural telephony to reality believing that this would lead to further socio-economic development of the state", he said.

According to the Chairman of the Implementation Committee of the Rivers State Sustainable Development Project, Mr. Dien Ajumogobia who is also the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, the rural telephony project will also generate employment opportunities for the teeming youths of the state who can engage in the running of Public Call Offices(PCOs).

Speaking during the commissioning, Globacom's Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Mohammed Jameel disclosed that the company's willingness to partner with the state government stemmed from its avowed commitment to the empowerment of the people of the state and instituting sustainable change in their daily living.

With this project, the entire Rivers State will be covered with an estimated 56 sites, excluding an additional 99 sites which are being developed solely by Globacom.The state made a 25 per cent contribution to the total cost of the 56 sites with the rest 75 per cent coming from Globacom.

This Day