By Etuka Sunday
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) has expressed delight over the strides that have been made by the Executive Governors of Kaduna, Imo, Katsina and Plateau States with respect to Right of Way (RoW) charges.
The Technical Assistant, Information Technology to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy,
Dr. Femi Adeluyi in a statement said, the RoW charges in these States have either been pegged at a maximum of N145 per linear metre or waived altogether.
The statement said, the RoW charges in Kaduna State have been completely waived, while the charges in Katsina, Plateau and Imo State have been pegged at a maximum N145 per linear metre.
It said, on the 20th of May 2020, Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State signed Executive Order No. 002, 2020, “significantly reducing Right of Way (RoW) of telecommunication companies in the state from N4,500 to N145 per meter in tandem with federal government policy”.
The statement quoted Pantami to have said that, “the actions of the Governors are truly commendable. They also align with the resolution of the State Governors under the auspices of the Governors’ Forum on the 22nd of January 2020 to address the lingering issue of Right of Way (RoW) charges in a bid to deepen broadband penetration in the country and promote a Digital Economy for a Digital Nigeria.
“At that meeting the Executive Governors had resolved to adopt the 2013 resolutions reached by the National Economic Council (NEC) which agreed on a maximum RoW charge of N145 per linear meter of fibre. Implementing this resolution will go a long way in implementing the National Broadband Plan (NBP) which was launched by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, on the 19th of March 2020.
“An increase in broadband access will have a positive impact on the economy of the various States as well as the entire country. One of the key benefits is the rapid growth in the gross domestic product (GDP) of any country that increases its broadband penetration.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how important broadband is in supporting economies around the world.
“The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy congratulates and commends the Executive Governors of Kaduna, Imo, Katsina and Plateau States for these very important actions. We would like to encourage other Executive Governors to do the same in order to support the development of our digital economy, facilitate digital literacy and accelerate broadband penetration across the country. This will also improve our Gross Domestic Product (GDP),” the statement said.