The Nigerian Governors’ Forum has 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 the country, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, has said.
The resolution, according to Dr Pantami, followed a presentation he made during the meeting of the Governors’ Forum held on Wednesday, the Minister said in a statement released on Thursday night.
He was accompanied to the meeting by the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, the Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa and Chairperson of the Presidential Committee on National Broadband Plan (2020-2025), Ms Funke Opeke.
Dr Pantami said he discussed the many benefits that an increase in broadband access could 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. Fayemi, stated that the Minister should consider the matter resolved.
There will no longer be any need to appeal to the governors on the issue of RoW, Dr Pantami said.
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 November 2019.
Dr 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.