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Whereas many telecoms stakeholders had expressed happiness on the January assurance from states’ governors to crash their respective charges levied per square meter of Right of Way (RoW) for laying of fibre optic cables, nothing or no official statement of clarification had been seen from any of the governors of the forum.
Business Hilights recalls that at the January meeting where the governors and their chairman, Dr Kayode Fayemi met with the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami and officials of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr Fayemi assured that all issues and bottlenecks frustrating Infracos are now a thing of the past as all the Governors have agreed on the 2013 understanding for the Row.
Besides, a top official of one of the telecoms, who spoke to Business Hilights on grounds of anonymity, said “none of the Infracos or telecoms has received any kind of notification from either the Minister or the NGF on the crashing of RoW since we read in papers that Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) has crashed RoW.”
Also, some industry stakeholders’, who barred their minds with our correspondent on why the NGF is yet to issue a clarification statement on reversing to the 2013 understanding in black and white, are expressing fears of possible pullout of some governors or lack of true consensus amongst Dr Fayemi led Nigerian governors’.
Besides, some experts said even if the NGF could not made a categorical statement, let the Minister make a publication that will clearly explain the key understandings so reached with NGF during the meeting so that Infracos and telecoms can be fully carried along and further emboldened to begin rollout of their infrastructure across the federation.
According to industry observers, only such clarification would spur Infracos and telecoms to begin to put up capital formation so as to access the multibillion naira facility to drive nationwide rollout.
Also, they agreed that it is when the Infracos have seamless and affordable access to RoW that the Federal Government can comfortably say that it is committed to a minimum of 70 per cent broadband penetration by 2025.
Recall that the Minister, Dr Isa Pantami, had on Wednesday last week said the Federal Government will hit not less than 70 per cent broadband penetration by 2025.
The minister spoke when a delegation from Phase 3 Telecoms Limited led by its Executive Chairman, Mr Stanley Jegede, paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja.
Pantami said the Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for digital Nigeria could not be achieved without adequate broadband penetration in the country.
The minister agreed that the main responsibility of the government was to provide an enabling environment for the private sector to thrive.
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