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Broadband: Only seven States have declared position on harmonised Right of Way charge

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Broadband: Fibre Cable ducts laid at the middle of a newly constructed road - Image Credit: Res Locus - WordPress.com

Only seven out of the 36 States in Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT authority) have declared their new rates/charges with regards Fiber Optic Cable deployment in line with the National Economic Council (NEC) harmonised prices per linear meter.

TechEconomy.ng investigations show that two States each in North West (Kaduna ₦0; Katsina ₦145, respectively); North Central (Kwara State ₦1; Plateau ₦145 respectively) and South East (Anambra ₦0; Imo ₦145 respectively) have declared their positions on the new charges.

In the South West only Ekiti State (₦145) has declared the new Right of Way charges.

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7 states with new broadband rates

As at the time of filing-in this report, Sunday May 07, 2020, neither any State in North East nor South-South regions have released statements to show their stance on harmonised rate of ₦145.

Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Olukayode Fayemi who doubles as the Chairman, Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) was the first to sign an Executive Order for the implementation of the harmonized RoW rates,

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy who had earlier congratulated the States for the “very important actions”, also encouraged 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).”

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Broadband Right of Way – Image Credit: ITPulse.com.ng

The Minister said that implementing this resolution will go a long way in implementing the National Broadband Plan (NBP) which was launched by President Muhammadu Buhari, 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”, he said.

Also, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, alluded to the fact that finding lasting solutions to Fiber Optic Cable Right of Way charges and the telecommunication infrastructure protection, are critical factors to the Internet broadband infrastructure companies (InfraCos) to roll-out services.

Prof Danbatta who was speaking during a virtual conversation on the Socio-Economic and Political Impact of COVID-19 on Telecom and ICT Sector in Nigeria, organized by the Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), said that the recent statement by the Federal Government showing commitment to protect telecom infrastructure and the Executive Order by State Governments harmonizing the price of Right of Way to N145 or outright removal of the price, the Commission is confident of the take of infrastructure deployment by the InfraCos.