The Federal Government is about to make good on its promise to provide citizens with free Wi-Fi in public places, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said.
Osinbajo launched the Google Free public Wi-Fi service in Wuse market, Abuja, on Thursday.
The VP, in a statement made available to Neusroom Friday morning, said at least 200 public areas expected to have free access to Internet to boost economic opportunities.
“This is a very exciting event for me. A couple of months ago, we were at the Google Headquarters at the Silicon Valley. And we were told about the Google Station Free Wi-Fi in Railway stations in India,” he said.
“The CEO of Google was talking about this and I said if you can put this in railway stations in India, then you must put them in markets in Nigeria. I’m sure at the time he wasn’t quite certain what markets in Nigeria would look like. But we agreed on principle and a team has been working on it since then.
“It’s incredible that today we have here at the Wuse market free Wi-Fi facilities in fulfillment of that promise that was made some months ago. One of the key reasons why it is important for us to do this is because of our own policy as a government to ensure that we democratize access in various ways so that the man in the street, the common man, can have access to the things that other people have. That informs our putting solar power in markets.”
Osinbajo said the facilities will be as big as those in other parts of the world.
“We are told that our own interaction with the Wi-Fi is almost a hundred times more than the likes of India, Thailand and Malaysia. It just shows you the massive potential out there of Nigerians who are waiting to be connected to the Internet to benefit in one way or the other,” he said.
“So, I think it is a very exciting moment for us and we are looking for the expansion of this service and all of our efforts to as many markets as possible.
“The more Nigerians can have access to the Internet connectivity, the better for us, the more prosperous our country can be, the more educated, the more informed our people become. So, we are really proud of what is happening today. I must thank Google; I must thank BCN – the local partners – as well. We are looking forward to more collaboration and co-operation with them.”
Some free Wi-Fi facilities have also been launched in some parts of Lagos State.