FG in talks with Starlink to create jobs in Nigeria
The Federal Government of Nigeria has engaged Elon Musk’s internet company, Starlink on the possibility of setting up programs that will create jobs in Nigeria through local maintenance and production of its hardware.
The Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Dr. Bosun Tijani, who disclosed this on Sunday, said the discussions happened on the sideline of the ongoing International Telecommunication Union-World Radio Communication (ITU-WRC) Conference in Dubai. Tijani said he met with the Senior Director of Global Licensing and activation of SpaceX, Ryan Goodnight.
He said the discussion centred on how Starlink could create a program to certify local installer and maintenance personnel in Nigeria as well as contracts for hardware startups in the country to produce Starlink’s repeater boxes locally.
This came as the Starlink official declared Nigeria as its biggest market, according to the Minister.
What the Minister said
Announcing the discussion via a post on his X handle, the Communications 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 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 startups to produce repeater boxes locally.”
“Our intention is to encourage every tech company to invest and deepen our tech ecosystem,” the Minister added.
Stalink’s operation in Nigeria
Although Starlink officially announced its presence in Nigeria in January this year, Nigerians have been pre-ordering its hardware since last year.
Despite its higher costs compared with local ISPs, Starlink had sparked high interest among Nigerians who were eager to change their service providers.
The ubiquitous status of its satellite service also encourages people in areas with poor internet networks to go for Starlink.
According to the ISP data released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Starlink is now one of the leading ISPs in Nigeria in terms of customer numbers.
As of the end of June, Starlink Nigeria’s customer base stood at 6,756. Many local ISPs that have been in operation in Nigeria for several years are currently having less than that number of customers.
To gain more customers, Starlink last month slashed its hardware costs by 21% as it pushed to gain more share of the Nigerian ISP market.
With the price slash, Starlink’s hardware cost was reduced to N299,500 down from N378,000 it was being sold before.
However, the monthly subscription to be paid remained unchanged at N38,000 per month.
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