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More professional bodies have continued to hit back at states authorities for their recent unilateral hikes in the cost of Right of Way (RoW) for delivery of fibre optic cables in the delivery of broadband infrastructure.
Latest is the lead industry body, the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), which in a terse statement signed by the President, Engr Olusola Teniola, warned that “The recent hike in the cost of (RoW by some State Governments and Agencies is unnecessary as it will be counterproductive and slow down broadband development in the States.”
“ATCON commend the State Governors for the giant strides in the area of accelerating the development and growth of their various States.
ATCON, however, reiterated its commitment to work with the various State Governments and Agencies in providing an enabling environment for the establishment of more telecom and ICT Companies in the States but the recent hike in the cost of Right of Way (RoW) did not augur well with the Association because we know it is going to slow down development in the States.
The umbrella body for industry professionals advanced reasons for the condemnation of the arbitrary hikes in RoW across the states.
The group recalled that “Our members which are principally telecom and ICT Companies rely heavily on the State governments and its agencies to make policies that promote further investment which would lead to building more telecom infrastructures that are needed by the citizenry, governance and businesses to deliver hitch free broadband services but with the recent upward review of the RoW, this might be difficult to achieve. We therefore appeal for a reversal of the cost back to what is being charged before.
“The Socio-Economic Development of the State is not mutually exclusive to Broadband Infrastructure Development
“Our Association is aware that the state governments are passionate about improving life expectancy, literacy, increase level of employment in their respective States. With friendly business environment for telecom Companies, all these goals can be achieved on the condition that the RoW charge is not inimical to the spread of broadband infrastructure development.
“The Association, having justified our points for the reversal of the cost of RoW recently hiked by some state agencies, would continue to engage the state governments as we remain committed to contributing our quota to the development of the States,” ATCOn President averred.
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