Michael Olanrewaju, Ilorin
Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara State has directed the slashing of the Right of Way (RoW) fee for telecommunications firms (telcos) from N5,500 per linear metre to N1 per kilometre of fibre — the second lowest in Nigeria after Kaduna.
In a statement by the State Commissioner for Communication, Alhaji Murtala Olanrewaju made available to Spear Gists in Ilorin, the reduction takes immediate effect.
Until now, telcos were paying N5,500 per linear metre as the fee for laying fibre cables in the state to strengthen their digital connections.
But AbdulRazaq has directed that the RoW fee be slashed to N1 only per kilometre, a decision designed to deepen digital penetration in Kwara State, jerk up the state’s ease of doing business ratings, and ease people’s access to the internet and other digital communication even in the remotest part of the state.
“Apart from driving up investment in the sector, the long-term effects of this significant step such as strengthening access to digital communications and bringing more businesses to the hinterlands cannot be quantified,” according to the the Governor.
Internet and broadband penetration have been known to have a direct correlation with economic development. A study carried out by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) on Africa reported that a 10 percent broadband penetration would lead to a 2.5% increment of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita.
The National Economic Council (NEC) had recently resolved to encourage technological advancement as a way to fast track economic development in Nigeria. The resolution was hinged on the need to create a favourable business environment for telecommunication companies and to further deepen broadband penetration for social and economic development.