The state government of Yobe in Nigeria has deployed an integrated telephone and internet backbone based on WiMAX technology. The project, which cost NGN371 million (USD3.2 million) was deployed by a consortium made up of Zinox Technologies and GAAT Investments. The project has obtained an operating licence from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). Yobe State is also in talks with the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) to facilitate an ‘e-learning’ drive to ‘build human capacity’, using the new WiMAX infrastructure. A resource centre with 50 PCs has been commissioned and another such facility with 200 more PCs is planned, said Governor Mamman Bello. In addition, over 100 state civil servants are undergoing appropriate training in the UK, Ghana and the Administrative Staff College in Lagos, and the state intends to help with the acquisition of laptops with discounts and easy payment options.
The governor said that while the network would primarily serve to enhance education and e-government in the state, private enterprises can tap into it for a fee. He said the state government was offering free WiMAX services to businesses in the state for the next 30 days, after which those interested could subscribe, adding that the facility was an incentive to businesses to invest in the state and that the state government was well disposed to offering further incentives such as land, which may be offered free-of-charge to genuine and well-intentioned investors.