State Governors, under the auspices of the Governors’ Forum, have resolved 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.
The Governors resolution followed a presentation made by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Pantami during a meeting of the Governors’ Forum held on Wednesday.
Dr Pantami discussed the many benefits that an increase in broadband access can have on the economy of the various States.
He noted 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 State Governors to adopt the 2013 resolutions reached by the National Economic Council (NEC), which agreed on a maximum RoW charge of N145.00 per linear meter of fibre.
In response, the Governors acknowledged the benefits of broadband penetration and the Chairman of the Governors’ Forum, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, who is Governor of Ekiti, assured Pantami to consider the matter resolved.
In addition to the discussion on the RoW, the Minister also discussed the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), which was unveiled by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.
Pantami urged the State Governors to key into the Policy and Strategy. He also informed them of the plan of the Federal Government to help the States with a Digital Economy Strategy, through Policy, Digital Skills and other areas of intervention.
The Minister was accompanied to the meeting by Prof Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Kashifu Inuwa, Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and Funke Opeke, Chairperson of the Presidential Committee on National Broadband Plan (2020-2025).
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