A National Duct Policy has been established by the Federal Government to prevent network providers from haphazardly laying cables across national infrastructure and damaging them in the process.
This information was made public by Isa Pantami, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, on Wednesday following the Federal Executive Council (FEC), which was presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
At the meeting, the Council approved two other memos: the National Child Online Protection Policy and Strategy and the Nigerian Data Protection Bill.
The National Duct One Policy, according to Pantami, attempts to formalize the provision of ducts during construction at the federal, state, and local council levels.
He asserts that the provision of ducts for the construction of roads, bridges, rail lines, sea ports, and any significant building should be made prior to construction, even at the conceptual design stage.
He bemoaned the issue, saying: “We are currently faced with a challenge that whenever we seek to build telecommunications infrastructure, a lot of damage is being done in several cities and towns in Nigeria, either to our roads or to our facilities.
Why? because no duct or conduit was provided during design or construction where the fiber might be placed. It is because of this that we organized stakeholder engagement, where we brought all the stakeholders, including the Ministry of Works and Housing, and we all
He said further: “There are so many benefits to be attained from that. Number one, it allows shared infrastructure. Secondly, it makes maintenance and repairs much easier.
“If that is part of the design and construction, during maintenance, you don’t need to damage any roads or important buildings. That provision is sufficient, and you will have a chamber where you will have access to all the facilities. It is because of this, we came up with this policy, and in addition to that, it will also continue to make the price of broadband cheaper.”