Google Launches Free WiFi Service In Lagos, Nigeria
Google seems to have chosen nigeria as its hub to take over the African market. Google’s united states based company Alphabet Inc., partnered with Nigerian fiber cable network provider 21st Century Technology to provide a public Wi-Fi service named Google Station in six locations in the city of Lagos, Nigeria.
The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo at the 2018 edition of the Google for Africa event held in Victoria Island, Lagos, on behalve of the Federal Government of Nigeria revealed that it plans to carry out a massive overhaul through supports and investments in tech developments throughout the country. The Vice President said the government has made huge investments in the tech ecosystem and gave assistance worth more than $2 million to about 9 startups in the country in an effort to change the direction the nigerian tech industry is taking.
Osinbajo was the special guest of honor at the conclave, and he availed the opportunity to express Nigeria’s gratitude to Google for collaborating with a local tech company, 21st Century Technology to launch the Google Station platform in the country.
According to Osinbajo, Nigeria cannot train almost 200 million youths by 2045 in just classrooms, as the country must use the internet as well as mobile telephony to connect young people to knowledge and information as is the practice across the world.
“Without connectivity, development trajectory of Nigeria and the continent will be truncated. It is as well becoming increasingly clear that food and health space availability for a massive number of Nigerians will be contingent upon the nature of tech democratization. That means we simply cannot provide food or even drugs in Nigeria or Africa, without innovations in tech and agro” he said.
Osinbajo also remarked that “Every step in making tech hubs available is a meteoric leap in the development narrative of Africa. That is the reason the launch of Google Station event here in Lagos is a significant development. It means that in partnership with the indigenous tech company known as 21st Century Technology, Google’s public Wi-Fi service will provide more internet access to Nigerians”.
Osinbajo noted that millions of Nigerians had shared stories of how internet transformed their lives in lots of positive ways, and so the government was trying its best to see that more people tap into the reality of these testimonies.
According to VP Product Management at Google, Anjali Joshi, the Wi-Fi program will fix connectivity challenges being faced in the country. The hotspots are currently available at the Landmark Center, The Psalms Mall, Ikeja Mall and MMA2 Domestic Airport Terminal, all in Lagos. Anjali informed that the Google Station for Nigeria is expected to reach 200 different locations across 5 cities by the close of 2019.
Following India, Indonesia, Thailand, and Mexico, Nigeria is the fifth nation to get a Google Station. According to World Bank Data, Nigerian internet penetration is relatively low, as some 25.7 percent of the population made use of the internet in 2016.