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#NTLS: FG to revisit NEC resolutions over lingering ‘Right of Way’ issues – Prof. Osinbajo

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Right of Way at Nigerian Telecom Leadership Summit
  • The Federal Government is proud of the performance of the Nigerian Communications Commission in its sustained democratization of access to telecommunications services
  • FG backs NCC on least 120,000 metropolitan optic fibre connectivity to achieve pervasive broadband penetration across the country by 2023
  • We have a very keen interest in how the Commission implements appropriate strategies to connect more than 40 million Nigerians identified to have been left out in the current infrastructure layout
  • NEC to revisit RoW resolutions
Right of Way at Nigerian Telecom Leadership SummitRight of Way at Nigerian Telecom Leadership Summit

Representative of VP, Yemi Osinbajo and Special Adviser to President on Political Affairs, Senator Babajide Ojudu

The Federal Government has expressed displeasure with the lingering issues around ‘Right of Way’, noting that it has become a huge encumbrance to broadband infrastructure deployment across the country, TechEconomy.ng can report.

This was contained in the Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo’s message at the maiden Nigerian Telecom Leadership Summit (#NTLS) organised by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) at Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos, today.

The theme of the 2019 Edition of this Summit is: ‘Repositioning the Nigerian Telecom Industry for the Future: Prospects and Challenges’.

TechEconomy.ng recalls that National Economic Council (NEC) in 2017 approved a policy to harmonize right of way charges payable by the telecommunications companies and related public utility infrastructure on Local Governments, States and Federal Highways.

The ‘new’ policy was meant to encourage co-location of the companies’ fibre optic cables; just like the telecommunication masts which were harmonised after long years of defacing the environment, the government wants to do the same for the laying of fibre optic cables which is becoming a burden on the Nigerian roads.

Right of Way at Nigerian Telecom Leadership Summit

Special Guests

The VP represented by the Special Adviser to President on Political Affairs, Senator Babajide Ojudu, at the Summit, said that Federal Government is concerned about the lingering ‘Right of Way’ issues, particularly, at State levels.

To this end, he said that the Federal Government will revisit the National Economic Council Resolutions, with a view to revisiing it and encouraging the State governments to see to its practical implementation.

The VP’s message:

“Today, in virtually all aspects of human life, telecommunications have become indispensible.

“In Nigeria, we have experienced positive impact of that contributions of the telecom industry in our economy. The contributions of this industry to the national Gross Domestic Product has continued to grow, with the last quarter of 2019, indicating 10.1%. This sector contributed an impressive N1.9 trillion, in the fourth quarter of 2018, a clear indicator, that the sector is one of the goose that lays the golden egg of our economy, and therefore, must be encouraged, protected, sustained and projected.

Right of Way at Nigerian Telecom Leadership Summit

Delegates

We are proud of NCC:

“The Federal Government is proud of the performance of the Nigerian Communications Commission in its sustained democratization of access to telecommunications services and maintaining stability of in the sector. With 174million connected lines, 116million access to the internet and current broadband penetration at 33.22%, the impact of on life styles, business and social interactions, have continued to improve.

“Direct and indirect employment opportunities have been remarkable.

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“It has become imperative, that as we move closer to implementing the agenda of the next level economic blueprint, telecommunications and ICTs, will occupy a pride of place.

Steps taken by FG so far:

“This administration has taken concrete steps to provide support, and encouragement to the telecom industry. Under the purview of the Ease of Doing Business Programme, we have initiative some Executive Orders, aimed at stimulating growth and creating enabling business environment that will give fillip to sensitive sectors like telecom sector to thrive.

“The Federal Government under His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, is desirous of bridging the digital divide. We understand the challenges of deploying infrastructure that drive access to telecommunications services to very wide geographical locations in Nigeria. We are also aware of the security challenges that face different economic activities in some part of the country, which may led to disruption of services and in some cases, led to attendant destruction of infrastructure. But we will continue to put our best efforts to ensure that we contain these challenges.

Right of Way at Nigerian Telecom Leadership Summit

Special Invitees with the EVC of NCC

We are focused on tackling Right of Way:

“We are currently looking at very important investment areas of interest as highlighted by the telecom regular. Of particular attention is the desire by the Commission that the nation needs a deployment of at least 120,000 metropolitan optic fibre connectivity to achieve pervasive broadband penetration across the country. We are looking at various possibilities in achieving this, including an open invitation to the private sector to partner with government in this direction.

“The Federal Government is also concerned about the lingering ‘Right of Way’ issues that have continued to linger, particularly, at State levels. We will revisit the National Economic Council Resolutions, with a view to revising it and encouraging the State governments to see to its practical implementation.    

“We are encouraged by the efforts of the Nigerian Communications Commission to bridge the gap, in spite of these challenges. We have a very keen interest in how the Commission implements appropriate strategies to connect more than 40 million Nigerians identified to have been left out in the current infrastructure layout.

“We are hopeful, that though the provision of licenses to eligible infrastructure provisioning organisations (InfraCo) for deployment of fibre to all the geopolitical zones under the Open Access Framework, will begin to yield fruitful results that will translate in available, accessible and affordable broadband services across the country.

Nigerian Telecom Leadership Summit

L-r: CEO, MTN Nigeria, Ferdi Moolman; EVC of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta; Chairman of NCC, Senator Olabiyi Durujaiye; Chairman of FIRS, Dr Babatunde Fowler; Managing Director & CEO of Airtel Nigeria, Segun Ogunsanya and President of ATCON, Olusola Teniola at Nigerian Telecom Leadership Summit

“While we recognise that investments in the telecom industry in capital intensive, we also believe that the sector has huge capacity for returns on investment.

“Having surpassed the 30% broadband penetration as at the end of 2018, and other remarkable feats by the NCC, the Federal Government is hopeful that Nigeria will continue to play in the league if nation’s who have positively responded to the established potential of this technology for the next phase of accelerated development”.

COVER Photo Caption:-

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L-r: Chairman of FIRS, Dr Babatunde Fowler; CEO of MainOne, Funke Opeke; Special Adviser to President on Political Affairs, Senator Babajide Ojudu; EVC of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta; Chairman of NCC, Senator Olabiyi Durujaiye and former Minister of Communications Technology, Dr. Mrs. Omobola Johnson, at the Nigerian Telecom Leadership Summit…today.

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