By John Ikani
In a move to boost employment and strengthen its technological landscape, the Federal Government of Nigeria has initiated discussions with Elon Musk’s Starlink, a leading satellite internet service provider.
The aim of the collaboration is to establish programs that will foster job creation in Nigeria through local maintenance and production of Starlink’s hardware.
The discussions took place during the ongoing International Telecommunication Union-World Radio Communication (ITU-WRC) Conference in Dubai, where Dr. Bosun Tijani, Nigeria’s Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, met with Ryan Goodnight, Senior Director of Global Licensing and Activation at SpaceX, Starlink’s parent company.
The central focus of the discussions was exploring the potential for Starlink to establish a program that would certify local technicians for the installation and maintenance of Starlink’s equipment.
In addition, the possibility of awarding contracts to Nigerian hardware startups for the local production of Starlink’s repeater boxes was also discussed.
In a tweet announcing the discussions, Dr. Tijani expressed optimism about the potential of this partnership to create thousands of new jobs in Nigeria.
He stated, “Excellent conversation with Ryan Goodnight, Snr. Director, Global Licensing and Activation of SpaceX on the sidelines of ITU-WRC 23, who shared that Nigeria is their biggest market in Africa. As demand for Starlink continues to grow in Nigeria, we spoke about the issue of connecting unserved and underserved Nigerians. I also mentioned the possibility of creating thousands of new jobs in Nigeria through initiatives like a certified installer/maintenance programme for Starlink and working with hardware start-ups to produce repeater boxes locally.
“We intend to encourage every tech company to invest and deepen our tech ecosystem.”
Starlink’s entry into the Nigerian market in January 2022 has been met with enthusiasm, with Nigerians actively pre-ordering its hardware. As of June 2023, Starlink Nigeria has amassed a customer base of 6,756 users.
In an effort to expand its reach and capture a larger share of the Nigerian ISP market, Starlink recently reduced its hardware costs by 21%.
Despite the hardware price reduction, Starlink’s monthly subscription fee remains unchanged at N38,000.
Credit Gist New Today News in Newspaper Nigeria Headlines