Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), has expressed excitement that Governors AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq and Chief Willie Obiano have positioned their States to embrace the Digital Economy.
The governors did this by crashing the Right of Way Charges from N5,500 per linear metre to N1 per kilometre of fibre in Kwara State and from N 600 per linear metre to N0 in Anambra State.
In making the pronouncement, the Executive Governor of Kwara State noted that the reduction 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”.
The statement by Anambra State government noted that “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.”
The actions of Governors Abdulrahman and Obiano in crashing the Right of Way charges are indeed timely and truly commendable. They align with the resolution of the meeting between the Honourable Minister and 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.
“Implementing this resolution will go a long way in supporting the execution of the National Broadband Plan (NBP) which was launched by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, on the 19th of March 2020”, the Minister said.
“An increase in broadband access,” he continued, “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 negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has accentuated the importance of broadband in supporting economies around the world”.
According to a statement signed by his Technical Assistant (Information Technology), Dr Femi Adeluyi, the Minister congratulates and commends the Executive Governors of Kwara and Anambra States for making this important decision.
“The Honourable Minister would again like to use this opportunity to encourage all other Executive Governors to emulate this action in order to accelerate broadband penetration across the country”, Dr. Adeluyi said.