The Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, on Thursday signed an Executive Order reducing the Right of Way charges for telecommunication infrastructure from N4,500 to N145 per linear metre.
This represents 97 per cent decrease.
According to the governor, this will allow telecom operators to lay broadband or any other telecommunications infrastructure and ensure full broadband penetration in the state by 2021.
“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,” Fayemi tweeted on Thursday.
“It is also aligned with the ongoing development of the Ekiti Knowledge Zone designed to be Nigeria’s first service-based innovation park.”
In the executive order No. 007 of 2020, the state government said it was its desire to provide all residents in Ekiti State, especially rural communities, with access to reliable and affordable broadband connectivity.
According to the state governor, certainty and transparency in right of way charges was required to attract local and foreign investment for the development of broadband and other telecommunication infrastructure across the state.
Fayemi noted that broadband connectivity across the state would enhance the ability of the government to increase economic prosperity, attract new businesses, enhance job growth, extend the reach of affordable high quality healthcare, enrich student’s learning with digital tools and facilitate access to digital marketplace.
The executive order stated, “Government policy on broadband connectively shall specifically target all sectors of Ekiti State including rural homes, farms, small businesses, manufacturing and production sites, transportation systems, and healthcare and education facilities.
“The Right of Way charges related to the laying of broadband or any other telecommunications infrastructure in Ekiti State shall not exceed N145 per metre.”
The decision to reduce right of way charges was in fulfillment of the promise made by the Nigeria’s Governor’s Forum led by Fayemi to address the lingering issue of Right of Way charges in a bid to deepen broadband penetration in the country and promote a digital economy.
The resolution followed an appeal made by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, during a meeting of the Governors’ Forum held in January this year.
Pantami had discussed the many benefits that an increase in broadband access could have on the economy of the various states.
He urged the state governors to adopt the 2013 resolutions reached by the National Economic Council, which agreed on a maximum RoW charge of N145per linear metre of fibre.