In a new announcement, the Governor of Imo State, Sen Hope Uzodimma has signed an executive order that slashes the Right-of-Way (RoW) charges in the state from N4,500 to N145 per meter.
This sees Imo state become the latest state to align with the National Economic Council (NEC) recommended charges. Last week, the governor of Ekiti state, Dr Kayode Fayemi, announced similar changes for InfraCos across the state.
According to Sen Hope, the new charge is to increase the broadband infrastructure in the state, which in turn will usher in innovations across the sectors.
“The reduction was a manifestation of our Government’s determination to spur the telecommunication companies to further invest in broadband infrastructure and trigger ancillary on-line services, especially in the field of education.”Sen. Hope Uzodimma, Executive Governor, Imo State.
With 2.7 million internet users, the rollout of more cables will accelerate the deployment of affordable and reliable modern high-speed connectivity in the State.
With a target of 64% broadband penetration in Nigeria by 2024, there’s a need to increase the broadband infrastructure across the country. In 2013, a committee of ministers and state governors set up by the National Economic Council (NEC) reached an agreement to unify the Right of Way charged across the country to N145.00 per linear meter of fibre.
This was to ease the cost of deploying the necessary infrastructure that would aid the National Broadband Penetration plan by telcos. Despite this decision, many states didn’t obey for several years. States like Lagos increased RoW charges from N500 per meter to N5,000 per meter on state roads. Other states have also gone on to charge as much as N6,000 per metre.
This has slowed the deployment of broadband infrastructure across the country as Infrastructure Companies (InfraCos) have not been to roll out as expected.
However, the NCC and Minister of Communications and Digital Economy have been holding discussions with stakeholders to ensure that the price is reduced. And it looks like the discussions have begun paying off. Hopefully, other states follow suit soon.
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