The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, has applauded the government of Anambra State led by Chief Willie Obiano, for crashing Right-of-Way (RoW) charges to Zero Naira.
The EVC, in his goodwill message at Anambra State Broadband Stakeholders’ Forum on Tuesday tagged: ‘Facilitating Broadband Access Through A Favourable Right of Way Regime’, stressed that Anambra state is one of the two states that have not just reduced the Right of Way charges offered to operators, but waived it completely.
“…for this, we are eternally grateful. This action, is sure, to put Anambra State on the global map of Digital Economy”, Danbatta said through the Director, Digital Economy at NCC, Dr. Austine Nwaulune.
Meanwhile, the EVC reiterated that the Commission in the drive for Broadband has licensed Infrastructure Companies (InfraCos) for the South East and five (5) other zones of the Federation including Lagos as a special zone.
He said that under this initiative, the South-East InfraCo licensee (Messrs. Zinox Technologies Ltd.) will be required to provide at least one (1) Point-of-Access (PoA) in each of the 95 LGA’s that constitute the region and interconnect them with 1,314Km of Optic Fiber Cable (OFC).
Continuing, he said: “Right-of-Way (RoW) charges, is a major limiting factor to provision of broadband services in Nigeria, as it slows down network deployment with the cost of the limited capacities ultimately passed to the subscribers. Knowing this, the Honourable Minister of Communication and Digital Economy Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) and the Commission’s Management led by my humble self are committed to keep dialoguing with the Federal and State Governments to lower the charges to N145 per linear meter earlier agreed or waive the charges entirely as we know that this is the path to progress in our drive for Broadband propelling rapid roll-out of services and better the livelihood of Nigerians through the myriads of services that come with the Digital Economy where Fibre Infrastructure play a major role.
“Result of study has shown that for every 10 percent increase in Broadband penetration, there is a corresponding 1.38% increase in GDP. This RoW waiver, will also make Anambra State more attractive to Network operators and attract investment in the infrastructure needed to support economic wellbeing of your Excellency’s economic jurisdiction.
“The Commission has always encouraged Governments to include Telecommunications infrastructure like ducts and others as they plan their cities and towns. A well planned city is one of the keys to the Digital Economy, a planned city anticipates future development, opens new revenue streams for government and safeguards roads, water pipes, bridges and other infrastructure from unnecessary destruction and re-adjustments to fit-in additional infrastructure in the future”.
He said that the Commission is confident that the efforts of the Government and people of Anambra state will usher in a new technological vista for the state by providing enabling environment for Entrepreneurs and Innovators in the field of ICT.
He added that this will complement the renowned Nnewi Hardware Technology Hub and urged other State Governors to emulate the two States that have entirely waived the RoW charges for Network operators (Anambra and Kaduna States respectively).
“This for sure will unleash economic wellbeing tomorrow; turning our teaming youths to job creators instead of seekers, for those that choose to be innovators and entrepreneurs and millions of technology jobs for those that choose to seek white collar jobs. Giving up the RoW fees today is like separating seed that you will sow to guaranty a prosperous future (Digital foundation) in numerous thematic areas; Commerce, Education, Agriculture, Finance and Trade Education Health and Social, Business and Industry, Transport and energy, Safety and Security e.t.c”.