By Omobayo Azeez
Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) has lauded two state governors for issuing executive orders to slash right of way (RoW) charges for telecoms to N145 per linear metre.
Specifically, the governors are Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State and Odidika Uzodinma of Imo state who, in collaboration with their respective State Houses of Assembly, have worked for the implementation of the approved right of way price from a very exorbitant price to an industry and investment friendly price of N145 per linear meter approved by the federal government.
ATCON, in a statement signed by Ajibola Olude, its executive secretary, Wednesday also appreciated the governors for considering its letter that was sent to them in the beginning of the year recommending that telecom and ICT infrastructure must be seen and treated as a component of development in their respective states.
The statement read, “With this move by the governors, their leadership have attested to the fact that the socio-economic development of their respective state is not mutually exclusive to broadband and ICT infrastructure development which has been one of the basis of our advocacy initiatives.”
The operators’ association further highlighted some of the benefits that are accruable to states that adopted and implemented the harmonized Right-of-Way price.
According to ATCON, these includes “Unlocking of the inherent digital potential of these states as the states are set to enjoy and maximize the opportunity that pervasive broadband penetration can offer as the people of these states can now leverage on uninterrupted telecommunications services which they have not been enjoying before now.
“The reason for this is that telecom infrastructure would give them the opportunity to express their gifts and talents.”
It also stated fast paced of development enabled by robust telecom and ICT infrastructure as another benefit of the executive order, adding that the direct multiplier effect of the order is that the states will experience a noticeable development both in the private and public sector.
ATCON said this is expected to push the revenue of these states forward and make companies that do not have presence in the states consider opening a branch, thereby leading to employment generation and reduction in rural-urban migration.
“We use this opportunity to advise those states that have not implemented the approved harmonized Right-of-Way price of N145 per liner meter to take a clue from these states and together, telecom and ICT infrastructure will speed up the needed development in Nigeria,” ATCON noted.