The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Pantami, alongside Prof. Umar Danbatta, EVC/CEO, Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Kashifu Inuwa, Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA and Funke Opeke, Chairperson of the Presidential Committee, on National Broadband Plan, (2020-2025), took advantage of the governors convergence at Abuja on January 22, 2020, for the Governors’ Forum meeting, to meet with the Governors, in a bid to resolve the Right of Way issue, that has been hindering the massive rollout of broadband in Nigeria, all this while.
The Honourable Minister, seized the opportunity of the meeting, to inform the Governors, of the benefits the States will derive, from an increase in broadband access, which is believed, will create the springing up of more business activities that, will shore up the economies of the States.
He explained that, one of the key benefits of broadband is, the rapid growth, in the Gross Domestic Product, (GDP), of any country that, increases its broadband penetration.
The Minister ended his presentation by urging the State Governors, to adopt the 2013 resolution, reached by the National Economic Council, (NEC), which agreed on a maximum Right of Way charge, of N145.00 per linear meter of fibre.
In response, the Chairman of the Governors’ Forum, His Excellency, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, stated, on behalf of his fellow Governors that, the Honourable Minister, should consider the Right of Way issue resolved.
Only, recently, it was reported that some State Governments increased the Right of Way charges in their various States astronomically, which prompted the Honourable Minister with Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, EVC/CEO of NCC, to meet with Governor Kayode Fayemi on January 16, 2019. In retrospect, that meeting was a precursor to this larger meeting with the Governors.
It is hoped that, this meeting, between the Honourable Minister and his team, with the Governors, will put a lid, on the Right of Way issue, so that, we can see some more progress in broadband penetration in Nigeria.
Featured Image: Cross-section of Governors, at the meeting held with the Honourable Minister of Communications And Digital Economy and his team, to resolve the Right of Way issue, on January 22, 2020, at Abuja.
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