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Kano joins Lagos, other in RoW access to telecoms, grants MTN N221m waiver

Another State, Kano has joined the likes of Lagos and Bayelsa to provide soft landing for telecoms wishing to deploy fibre optic cables along its streets and major roads by granting permit fee of N221m to MTN Nigeria.

This was made possible vide an unscheduled visit to the State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje by the the Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta who was able to convince him.

Discursions that ensued during the visit among other things convinced the governor to write off arrears of Right of Way (RoW) fees charged by the Kano State Urban Planning and Development Authority who had last week arrested some employees of Huawei Technology Company, working on MTN’s infrastructure expansion scheme in the state.

Danbatta was said to have convinced him about the economic advantages that the state stood to gain from the deployment of more telecommunications infrastructure, as well as the potential quality of service concern that millions of service subscribers would face if the work was further delayed.

According to Danbatta, “The situation could have adverse effects on quality of service experience among millions of service subscribers in the state and beyond if it is not swiftly resolved”.

“Strategic collaboration and partnership with other relevant agencies and stakeholders is a key component of the eight-point agenda that the NCC unveiled last year.”

Confirming the deal, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Kano State Urban Planning and Development Authority, Bashir Adamu, said the agency had written to MTN Nigeria on the waiver of the permit fee.

“The waiver of permit fee was granted in respect of two federal roads, the Zaria and Maiduguri roads in the state”.

NCC had last year carried out similar mission in Ogun State which lead to the unsealing of 47 base stations, while the governor, Ibikunle Amosun, also reduced the ground rent fees owed by IHS Towers from N370m to N120m.

Already, Lagos State remains the state with the lowest fee in terms of access to RoW. Under the last administration, former Governor Babatunde Fashola crashed the per square meter fee to N500, but several other states are still charging as high as N5,000 for the same distance, thus frustrating the target broadband penetration dream of 30 per cent by 2018.

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