…as Kwara State slashes charges to N1/km for broadband infrastructure
The Governor of Anambra State, Willy Obiano has cancelled the Right of Way (Row) charges for fibre optic cable deployment.
The crashed to zero naira by Anambra State Government followed a directive by Gov Willie Obiano to waive the charges from N600 per linear meter to Zero Naira.
The Chairman/Managing Director, Anambra State Physical Planning Board (ANSPPB), Chike Maduekwe, Esq., made this disclosure on Thursday while unveiling the State’s Integrated Urban Regeneration Initiative.
He said that the Initiative is in line with the government’s strategy to create a robust digital economy.
The urban regeneration initiative of the State is aimed at deploying modern physical planning strategies to eliminate bottlenecks to digital access; and seeks to reverse infrastructure decline in urban and semi-urban areas as well as boost digital infrastructure rollout to towns and communities.
“The removal of the Right of Way charges by Anambra State is the first step to a digital economy that welcomes key stakeholders, investors, innovators, educators, and businesses to The Light of the Nation. It is also aligned with the resolution of the Nigerian Governors’ forum of January 2020 and the launching of the National Broadband Plan by Mr. President in March 2020.
“We had opened discussion with key stakeholders for zero payment on RoW as directed in 2019 by His Excellency, Governor Willie Obiano to expedite broadband penetration, optimize economic activities and the ease of doing business in the State,” Maduekwe said.
With this development just after the creation of Anambra State Information and Communication Technology Agency and most recently, establishment of Digital Entrepreneurship Office in the State, Anambra is close to achieving Gov Willie Obiano’s vision of diversifying the economy, leveraging digital services for commerce, education, innovation, manufacturing, and Government.
In the same vein, Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El Rufai waived RoW charges for broadband and related communication infrastructure as a way to bridge the digital gaps in the state.
The smart move will lead to increase in the deployment of optic fibre infrastructure, an improvement in the quality of service rendered as well as improved employment opportunities in these states.
On his part, Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq directed the immediate reduction of the Right-of-Way charges for telecommunications firms from N5,500 per linear metre to N1 per kilometre of fibre.
This is the second-lowest right of way rate in Nigeria after Kaduna and Anambra States.
A statement on Sunday by the State Commissioner for Communication, Alhaji Murtala Olanrewaju, said before now, telcos were paying N5,500 per linear metre as the fee for laying fibre cables in the state to strengthen their digital connections.
AbdulRazaq said the decision to slash RoW levies to N1 only per kilometer was designed to deepen digital penetration in Kwara State, improve the state’s ease of doing business ratings, and ease people’s access to the Internet and other digital communication, especially the remote parts of the state.
“Apart from driving up investment in the sector, the long-term effects of this significant step such as strengthening access to digital communications and bringing more businesses to the hinterlands cannot be quantified,” the governor was quoted as saying.
This is coming on the heels of the decision by the Governors of Ekiti, Plateau, Imo, and Katsina states to adopt a maximum charge of N145 per linear metre for the laying of broadband infrastructure.