By Etuka Sunday
The Government of Edo State and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) have reaffirmed their commitment to work together to improve access to telecoms infrastructure and provide citizens of Edo State with world class telecoms and ICT facilities.
This commitment was made during a meeting between the Executive Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki and the NCC, led by the Commission’s Executive Commissioner for Stakeholder Management, Mr Sunday Dare.
In his welcome remarks at the meeting, Mr. Dare commended the forward-looking policies of the Governor and assured him of the NCC’s readiness to support the achievement of the ICT aspirations of the State through the deployment of fiber infrastructure under the Commission’s InfraCo project and interventions by the Universal Service Provision Fund.
He noted that the NCC is aggressively driving accessibility to telecoms networks at all nooks and crannies of the Federation. He however regretted that situation with multiple taxation and regulation in some States of the Federation is counter-productive for the States – this is because they end up losing substantial revenues and developmental opportunities which could have been stimulated with the presence of telecoms infrastructure.
He assured the Governor that NCC is keen to partner Edo State to achieve win-win solutions in the overall interests of the good people of Edo State.
In his remarks, the Governor noted that the Edo State Government is focused on exploring non-oil resources and has therefore articulated developmental priorities focusing on creating a sense of order (participative, accountable and open governance); and a sense of security, safety and stability necessary to attract requisite investments to develop the State. Since its developmental goals relies on the seamless availability of telecoms/ICT infrastructure, Edo State is passionate about the need to attract robust telecoms infrastructure to drive manufacturing, education and other socio-economic activities.
As an example of the State’s forward-looking approach, the Governor noted that Edo State has always made provision for shared fiber ducts in its road projects and looks forward to engaging with NCC and operators to agree on fiber deployment projects and routes as necessary.
During the meeting, the Executive Secretary of the USPF, Mr Ayuba Shuaibu confirmed that the USPF has evaluated and agreed to support the College of Education in Benin City and the Institute of Continuing Education in Abudu, Edo State with a grant to establish a computer laboratory and provide Optic Fiber Connectivity to the institutions.
The Governor thanked the USPF for the gesture and emphasized that the State is committed to the deployment of technology solutions to enhance basic education delivery, skills development and economic opportunities for its citizens. Mr Dare assured the Governor of NCC’s support in this regard.
The parties therefore agreed to explore opportunities for partnership in the deployment of telecoms infrastructure in Edo State in a manner that supports the State’s developmental objectives and provides citizens with access to fast, efficient and effective telecoms service whilst affording necessary protection for telecoms infrastructure in the State.