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Governor Kayode Fayemi

Placing Ekiti ahead: Why Gov Fayemi slashes Right-of-Way Charges from N4,500 to N145

IT News Nigeria:

There are strong indications that placing Ekiti State ahead of others in terms internet connectivity is the very reason governor Kayode Fayemi crashed Right of Way charges from N4,500 to N145 per meter in a much publicised executive order N0 007 of 2020 Thursday.

Recalled, 14 states government increased RoW charges for laying internet fibre optic cables and telecoms infrastructure barely 72 hours after the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Mr Isa Ali Pantami said he had written all the state Governors to comply with the N145 RoW charges. The states include Lagos, Kano, Anambra, Ondo, Cross River, Kogi, Osun, Kaduna, Enugu, Adamawa, Ebonyi, Imo, Kebbi and Gombe, have raised RoW for telecoms infrastructure.

Delaying internet deployment could be likened to delaying opportunities inherent in the ecosystem.  And Dr Fayemi is well aware that the future belongs to any states that make internet accessible and available to its innovative and young population found in the state like in larger Nigeria.  

For example, Broadband or high speed internet penetration is directly proportional to GDP. A 2009 report by the World Bank estimated that for every 10% increase in broadband in developed nations, GDP will grow by more than 1%. A 2019 study by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) argues that a 10% increase in mobile broadband penetration yields a 2% increase in GDP in low-income countries, and an increase of 2.5% of GDP per capita.

The internet connects people, lives, stories, and businesses. It is a source of information, a social platform, and a business network. The internet has diverse uses depending on the needs of an individual or the setting. Regardless of the purpose, the importance of the internet in our daily lives is unquestionable.

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Responding to his ground breaking resolution, Fayemi said in tweet Thursday that “this decision will ensure Ekiti achieves full broadband penetration by 2021 to attract new businesses, create jobs, improve access to quality healthcare and digital education while improving internally generated revenue.

He also noted that “it is also aligned with the ongoing development of the Ekiti Knowledge Zone, designed to be Nigeria’s first service-based innovation park.”

In response, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) said in a Tweett today that “this is a highly commendable effort by @kfayemi . It will undoubtedly facilitate broadband penetration in Ekiti State. Hope other states will emulate the action as earlier agreed during our meeting.”

Telecoms service providers under the umbrella of Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria, (ALTON) has said it was regrettable fourteen States in Nigeria have increased the charges of Right of Way ( RoW) by over 1200% at a time the Federal Government was harmonising the charges. ALTON’s Chairman, Mr. Gbenga Adebayo said this will lead to negative sentiments among investors, especially, those involved in the deployment of fibre optic cables across the country.

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