CHINA SUPPORTS SECOND PHASE OF NIGERIA RURAL TELEPHONY PROJECT WITH $300M

Telecoms

In an address to the 'Connecting Rural Communities Africa 2006' conference in Abuja-Nigeria, new Nigerian communications minister, Dr. Obafemi Anibaba, and Director of the National Rural Telephony Program, Mr. S.S. Ahmed, stated that:

Following connection of around 280 rural communities to the PSTN in Phase 1, the Nigerian government is now ready for Phase 2 of its rural connection program.

The government has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Chinese government, including funding arrangements of $300 million, on the basis that Chinese telecommunications companies would be involved in the implementation of the project.

The MoU on the loan from the Chinese government and participating financial institutions was signed in April 2006, but negotiations continue.

Three firms listed for the second phase are Chinese firms ZTE, Alcatel Shanghai Bell and Huawei Technologies, proposals from whom have already been studied and adopted for implementation.