State governors agree to address right of way impasse
State governors under the auspices of the Governors’ Forum (NGF), have resolved to address the lingering issue of Right of Way (RoW) charges, to deepen broadband penetration in the country, and promote a Digital Economy for a Digital Nigeria.
The Federal Government had recently decried the disregard of agreement on a unified and hamonised Right of Way (RoW) levies as well increase of the RoW charges by over 1,200 per cent by some state governments.
Consequently, the NGF on Wednesday, met with the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, in company of the Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Umar Danbatta; Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa; and Chairperson, Presidential Committee on National Broadband Plan (2020-2025), Funke Opeke.
According to statement, Pantami told the governors that one of the key benefits is the rapid growth in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of any country that increases its broadband penetration.
He then urged the governors to adopt the 2013 resolutioion by the National Economic Council (NEC), which agreed on a maximum RoW charge of N145.00 per linear meter of fibre.
The Minister also discussed the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), which was unveiled by President Muhammadu Buhari on November 28, 2019, and urged the governors to key into the policy.
He informed the governors of Federal Government’s plan to help states with a Digital Economy Strategy, through policy, digital skills and other areas of intervention and commended the NGF for their support in resolving the RoW challenge.
Responding on behalf of the governors, NGF Chairman, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, said the governors acknowledged the benefits of broadband penetration, and told the Minister to consider the matter resolved. “There will no longer be any need to appeal to the Governors on the issue of RoW,” he said.