Monday, November 20, 2023

Nigeria in talks with Elon Musk to create jobs in Nigeria

The Federal Government of Nigeria has initiated discussions with Elon Musk's Starlink on setting up programs that will create jobs in Nigeria through local maintenance and production of its hardware.

The discussions happened on the sideline of the ongoing International Telecommunication Union-World Radio Communication (ITU-WRC) Conference in Dubai, with the Senior Director of Global Licensing and activation of SpaceX, Ryan Goodnight.

The Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Dr Bosun Tijani, disclosed this on Sunday through his verified X handle.

The conversation focused on the possibility of Starlink creating a program to certify local installers and maintenance personnel in Nigeria, and contracts with hardware startups in the country to produce Starlink's repeater boxes locally.

What the minister said:

“Excellent conversation with Ryan Goodnight, Snr. Director, Global Licensing & 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 discussed connecting unserved and underserved Nigerians,” he stated.

“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 startups to produce repeater boxes locally.

“We intend to encourage every tech company to invest and deepen our tech ecosystem,” the Minister added.

When Elon Musk’s Starlink made its debut in Nigeria in January 2023, the next-gen satellite internet service provider promised to usher in a new era of high-speed internet connectivity in Africa's most populous nation. It also promised low-latency internet to areas where it is either unreliable or inaccessible.

In October, Starlink Nigeria reduced its hardware prices by 21% in its efforts to capture a larger portion of the Nigerian Internet Service Provider (ISP) market.

Following this reduction, Starlink's hardware is now priced at N299,500, down from its previous rate of N378,000. However, the monthly subscription fee of N38,000 has not changed. 

By Adekunle Agbetiloye, Business Insider Africa

Related stories: Nigeria becomes first country in Africa to have Starlink

Starlink in advanced talks for Nigerian operating licence

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