By Prince Osuagwu
To kick-start its smart city project, Ogun State has given free Right of Way, RoW, to Communications Service and Network Solutions Company, MainOne, for laying a 250km length of broadband cable in the state.
RoW has been the problem militating against broadband operators extending services to the rural areas as every state violates the National Economic Council’s N145 per kilometre stipulated price, to arbitrarily set theirs which range from N1,500 to as much as N6,500 or more, per kilometre.
For instance, Ogun State is alleged to charge about N6,500 per km, as RoW for operators to lay cable in the state.
It means that the free RoW for MainOne’s 250km amounts to giving the company a total sum of N1,625,000, apparently, to ensure that Ogun State is among the first to kick start a smart city project in the country.
Secretary to Ogun State Government, Barrister Taiwo Adeoluwa, explained that; “Technological infrastructure is part of the efforts of the government to put the state on the technological highway and pave the way for Smart City development in Ogun State.
MainOne would invest in building broadband infrastructure in the state while the state government would enable ICT development by ensuring free Right of Way to the company to ensure the success of the project.”
The SSG who also hinted that the agreement would ensure the construction of data centre in Sagamu interchange said: “The target of the government is for Lagos to feed on Ogun. We have been working hard and are desperate to leave a system-driven environment. The MoU we have signed in the short-term is for 30-year tenure and that would tell you we have not done it for ourselves but for the benefit of Ogun State, our youths and children unborn.
“Today, we are taking Ogun State to the next level, people still have no idea what is erupting at the business district but what we are doing now is in line with our resolve to deploy bigger infrastructure to support technological investors in the state. MainOne would be giving us points in 12 locations; our model schools would be connected, the secretariat would be connected and other public buildings,” Adeoluwa noted.
With the partnership, Ogun State has joined the Smart City train and is poised to enable its emergence as a leading technology hub in Nigeria, similar to MainOne’s initiatives in Yaba’s Innovation Hub.