10 million Nigerians to benefit from free Wi-Fi facilities as Google Station opens
Tech giant, Google has said it will make available free Wi-Fi facilities in about 200 sites in Lagos and five other states in Nigeria between now and 2019.
The company has also projected that about 10 million Nigerians will benefit from the initiative. The five other states are Abuja, Enugu, Oyo, Port-Harcourt and Kaduna.
The project, called Google station – allows Google partners to roll out Wi-Fi hotspots in public places through provision of software and advice on hardware.
Nigeria becomes the fifth country to launch Google station and joins India, Indonesia, Mexico and Thailand.
Google’s Vice-President, Product Management, Anjali Joshi, while speaking to the media ahead of the roll out said:
“Across the globe, countries which have invested in nurturing digital and innovation-based cultures not only enjoy extraordinary wealth (and job creation), but have also transformed the way people live and do business. That positive change can only happen, however, if everyone can access the Internet.”
On why the initiative was launching in Nigeria, he said the program was targeted primarily at countries where the next-billion internet users are set to come from, and give them easy-to-use WI-Fi experience.
Google’s Country Director, Nigeria, Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor, in buttressing her colleague said the program will make sure Nigerians are able to participate in the digital economy and that the best way is for students and Wi-Fi. She said:
“knowing full well that a World Bank report claimed that there is direct correlation between broadband and GDP growth. That is a 10 per cent increase in broadband correlates to 1.38 per cent increase in GDP growth.
“Even beyond GDP growth, the Internet provides opportunities to pursue social and developmental objectives. So we expect this to fuel some changes, especially in creating jobs, helping the SMEs, among others.
“We have believed since the very beginning of Google that when more people have better, more dependable and secure access to the Internet, everyone in the entire Internet ecosystem benefits. Google Station will work to this mission by bringing more people fast, reliable, quality Wi-Fi to more places.”
Four of the stations – Local Airport, Landmark; The Palms and Ikeja City Mall, went live on Wednesday, as many others are expected to do also go live soon.