…as Nigeria needs over 120,000km of fibre network to achieve broadband penetration
By Prince Osuagwu
The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Prof Umar Danbatta has called on federal government to help the telecom operators in the country by asking the state governments to harmonise the Right of way policy.
Harmonisation of the policy, according to Danbatta will help Nigeria meet the 120 kilometres of fibre network interconnection across the country needed to achieve a pervasive broadband penetration.
He regretted that only 38,000 kilometers have been covered so far while another 120, 000km is needed to have the kind of broadband access other countries developed their economies with.
He spoke to a delegation from Nigeria Industrial Policy and Competiveness Advisory Council that visited his office. He noted that the only way out was for the Federal Government to ensure that all the 36 states of the federation adhere to the resolution of National Economic Council on the Right of Way charges, which stipulates N145 per meter for laying fibre network in every part of the country.
He said: “The Right of Way issue refuses to go away despite the existence of a document guiding charges. Currently nobody is complying with the provision of that document.
”We cannot compel the state governments to charge N 145 per meter for fibre. But the Federal Government can meet with the governors and extract a commitment from them, to ensure that NEC’s provision is strictly adhered to,” he added.
He however, called for more Information and Communications Technology (ICT) capacity building in the country in order to fully take advantage of the digital transformation that is taking place in the world; otherwise the efforts will be in vain if there is no critical mass to drive the digital revolution.