One Hundred and Eleven (111) communities, with an estimated population of 664,500 people, recently got connectivity following the commissioning of 20 (twenty) Base Transceiver Stations (BTSs) deployed by Odu’atel through subsidies provided by the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF). The communities, among which is the famous Igbo Olodumare, are in Ondo State, South West Nigeria.
The Base Transceiver Stations (BTSs) were part of the Accelerated Mobile Phone Expansion (AMPE) Programme of the USPF which provides subsidies to Operators to extend telecommunication services to unserved or underserved communities.
The Honourable Minister of Communication Technology, who is also the Chairman of the USP Board, Dr. (Mrs) Omobola Johnson, performed the commissioning on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria. She disclosed that the USPF would not lose focus on an estimated forty (40) million Nigerians who still lack access to ICT services. It was on this premise that the USPF had, through “Geographical Information System (GIS) study, created ICT Gap clusters of areas that are unserved or underserved. Each cluster has the requisite attributes – population estimates, size, major towns, main economic activities/occupation, institutions, vegetation type, etc that would assist USPF in designing projects that address peculiar ICT needs of each community”.
The Secretary, Abdullahi Maikano, remarked that the commissioned Base Transceiver Stations (BTSs) were among many support initiatives of the Universal Service Provision Fund to the transformation agenda of government. He expressed optimism that the project will trigger typical socio-economic benefits to the communities.