During Integra’s first consulting engagement with Nigeria’s Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) in 2012, we contributed significantly to the development and adoption of the country’s 2013-2017 Strategic Management Plan (SMP). Because of the success of this engagement, USPF invited Integra back under a separate agreement to provide advisory services on the implementation of the plan.
A key feature of the SMP was the identification of what were termed “clusters,” or geographically contiguous areas without access to telecommunications services. USPF documented over 200 of these clusters, and for each one identified the level of population, features of the physical terrain, and economic assets. All of these data were assembled in a searchable GIS database available on USPF’s website.
Once this information was obtained, Integra stepped in to help USPF develop projects that could bring telecommunications services to these clusters. We employed our expertise in geospatial systems, cost-benefit modeling, and project design to help USPF prioritize clusters, set cost targets, and devise interventions. We then supported USPF to obtain stakeholder buy-in and advised on the development of bidding documents and processes for project implementation. This work is leading to tens of millions of dollars being contracted according to international best-practice standards and being directed toward those projects most likely to close the digital divide in Nigeria.