By Adeyemi Adepetun
THE Federal Government has expressed its readiness to develop digital policies that will attract more foreign direct investments (FDIs) into the technology sector, cum Nigeria.
Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami, stated this at the launch of MDXi Lekki II Data Centre by MainOne in Lagos last Wednesday.
Pantami, who was represented by the Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Board, Prof. Adeolu Akande, welcomed Equinix investment to Nigeria, the parent company of MainOne, and assured the American firm, a global digital infrastructure company, of government support to enable its investments to thrive in Nigeria.
“The Federal Government has developed its National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy with a clear vision to transform Nigeria into a leading economy. Government also developed its National Broadband Plan, which was chaired by the CEO of MainOne, Funke Opeke, to enhance broadband penetration and development in the country. The MDXi Lekki II Data Centre that is being launched today, is in line with the objectives of FG’s National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy.
“With the exponential growth of the fourth industrial revolution, it has become essential to provide robust and secured data centres to warehouse data growth. Nigeria and the world indeed are experiencing unprecedented growth of data and we need reliable data centres, hence the needs to commend MainOne for expanding its data centre operations to accommodate more storage,” Pantami said.
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who was physically present at the launch of the expanded data centre, commended MainOne for supporting technology innovation across Nigeria, through its expanded data and broadband projects, since it berthed its sub-marine cable in Nigeria from Europe in 2010.
Sanwo-Olu also commended Equinix for investing in MainOne to expand its global infrastructure capabilities in Nigeria, and he assured Equinix and MainOne of government support for business growth and further expansion.
“We welcome Equinix to Lagos and to Nigeria, which is the largest economy on the African continent, with the largest youth population and diversity. Nigeria has been experiencing technology investments from global technology companies like Microsoft, Google and others in recent times and we welcome Equinix for joining the train of investments in Nigeria. In recent years, Lagos has become a leading destination for technology startups and a home for global technology companies.
“As government, we will continue to develop policies that will support private investments. Lagos has reached advanced stage of the rollout of the first phase of its 3,000km terrestrial fibre optic cable deployment across the state, with a view to supporting investments in Lagos State,” Sanwo-Olu said.
The Vice President, Growth and Emerging Markets at Equinix, Judith Gardiner, said the acquisition of MainOne by Equinix, would further give Nigeria access to global and regional technology innovations. “Nigeria, being the largest economy with the largest population in Africa, has been a home for local and global Fintech players and Equinix is pleased to invest in MainOne and in Nigeria because of the great opportunities that abound for business expansion and growth,” Gardiner said.
Giving reasons for the expansion of its data centre and the launch of MDXi Lekki II Data Centre, the Chief Executive Officer of MainOne, Funke Opeke, said the company has exceeded the 600 racks capacity of its first data centre, hence the need to build the second data centre to accommodate more customers.
“The second data centre has 520 racks capacity with two megawatts power in the first phase, with plans to further expand the capacity, which is fast becoming a hub for digital activities in Lagos,” Opeke said.
She commended the Lagos State government for its vision and efforts to develop Lagos into a smart city, and called on Lagos government to create access road networks in the Lekki corridor, to boost new and existing businesses in the area, including public services like security.