Lagos State recently emerged as the top destination in Africa for digital infrastructure investment, to the delight of its teeming fans.
It’s noteworthy Lagos has remained the most populous city in Nigeria and on the continent.
The above report was revealed in April 2022 during a panel hosted by Digital Infra Africa, where industry experts deliberated on the impacts of growing investments in data centres on the continent.
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The session, which was moderated by Senior Vice President, Middle East, Africa and Greater India, Uptime Institute, Mustapha Louni, had MainOne CEO, Funke Opeke, joined by CEO of the Raxio Group, Robert Mullins; CEO, Teraco, Jan Hnizdo and Chief Marketing Officer and VP of the International Business Development, WIOCC, Mike Last.
These market leaders noted the spate of acquisitions and new entrants in the past six months including Equinix – MainOne’s new parent company, Digital Realty, Cassava Technologies and WIOCC.
They said growth in investments in the data centre infrastructure on the continent had grown exponentially, adding that such investments continued to be driven by the growth of broadband access and data consumption across the continent’s large economies, of which Nigeria was the largest.
Opeke stated, “When you look at the connected population and the growth potential of the numbers that remain unconnected, we see a large opportunity for growth in data consumption levels, and this is attracting global market players.
“MainOne is the market leader in Lagos already and we will continue to make investments with our new parent company Equinix to remain at the forefront of the increasing digitalization happening on the continent.”
“These views are in line with the recently published statistics on investments flowing into the tech sector on the continent. Lagos State government has actively championed these initiatives and investments in technology by creating an enabling environment for businesses to flourish, and also by providing active support to investors in the state through its numerous programs and initiatives.
“The effort is bearing fruit, as in the last one month, Lagos has attracted over $1 billion worth of committed investment from technology giants like Microsoft, which opened its new African Development Centre in the State; Google, which last week launched its state-of-the-art submarine Internet cable in Lagos and Equinix, which recently completed its acquisition of MainOne with a $320 million deal.
To put the level of investment that Lagos would attract in the next few years into context, at the recent launch of MainOne’s MDXi Lekki II Data Center, VP Growth and Emerging Markets at Equinix, Judith Gardiner, stated that, “Amsterdam as a key hub, with a population of one million people, has nine Equinix Data Centers with over 106MW capacity. Lagos, with a population of over 20 million, has the potential to far exceed this footprint.
“We are committed to bringing our capital, expertise, knowledge and customers to accelerate the digital age in Nigeria.” She hinted.
Indeed, Lagos has over the past and recent years taken the lead as regards investment destination owing to the seeming friendly and enabling environment. This prowess has made the state to relatively boast of the richest territory across the Nigeria’s shores.
The leadership of other states in Nigeria are required to step up their policies in a bid to ensure they key into the investment mantra towards boosting the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) base of their respective jurisdictions. This would make them not to wholly depend on the central government for survival, as it’s currently witnessed in the country.
However, the Lagos government must strive to sustain the tempo, as well as revisit its various fiscal policies to ensure it becomes and remains friendlier than its present position, towards attracting more prospective investors to the state.
Governments at all levels must learn to acknowledge that the wholesomeness of every economic activity centres on policy-making and its onward implementation.