By Omobayo Azeez
Imo State, a subnational in the Eastern part of the Nigeran federation, Wednesday joined Ekiti State in the southwest, to slash the controversial Right of Way (RoW) charges for telecommunication companies in the country.
Hope Uzodimma, the state governor, signed an executive order that will now see the charges for RoW in the state drop to as low as N145 per linear metre.
The Executive Order No. 002, 2020 significantly reduces the charges from N4,500 to N145 per meter in tandem with federal government policy.
The move comes barely one week after Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State signed an executive order, reducing the right of way (RoW) charges for telecommunication companies to N145 per linear metre in his own state.
The order explained that the reduction was a manifestation of the state government’s determination to spur the telecommunication companies to further invest in broadband infrastructure and to trigger ancillary on-line services, especially in the field of education.
The order further said that the government was hopeful that the drastic reduction from N4500 of the broadband ROW to N145 per liner meter of fibre, will accelerate the deployment of affordable, and reliable modern high speed connectivity in the state.
The executive order urged telecommunication companies to note that the state plays host to a vibrant youthful demography located in many tertiary institutions, who form the bulk of the end users of their products.
This development is seen as another success towards achieving 70 per cent broadband penetration target in Nigeria by 2025 which is expected to ride on an expansive 120 kilometre of optic fibre to power the country’s digital economy.
After Fayemi’s pioneering executive order to slash RoW charges last week, Isa Pantami, minister of communications and digital economy, has urged other governors to follows suits.
It is a move that has been welcomed by the industry, with Olusola Teniola, president of Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), saying that by reducing the charges, each governor can hasten the rate of digital transformation in his state, adding that this has long term benefit for the economic prosperity of the state.