Abia State adopts ‘dig once’ policy to regulate underground infrastructures in Abia State

Abia State Governor, Alex Otti has signed the Dig Once Policy to regulate installation of underground, broadband technology infrastructure in the State.

Otti speaking during the ceremony on Wednesday at the Government House, Umuahia, said that the policy would provide guidelines for companies whose activities involved excavation, laying of cables and the installation of underground utilities infrastructure.

The governor explained that the policy would serve as a very effective tool for coordinating all excavation and trenching projects along utility corridors in ways that avoid duplication of efforts.

He also said that the implementation of the policy would play a vital role in protecting road infrastructure from unintended consequences.

Otti further stressed that through the erection of underground ducts, service providers would deploy their service infrastructure at reduced costs in finances and time.

“Additionally, the Dig Once Policy will bring about drastic reduction in the needless losses arising from the destruction of underground cables and other infrastructure and prevent the subsequent disruption in internet services.

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“The policy we have just signed is the product of strategic inter-ministerial collaboration directed by my office with the active involvement of the State’s Ministries of Digital Economy and SMEs, Science and Technology and Works,”he said.

Otti described the policy as an indication of government’s firm commitment to take advantage of the endless opportunities in the world of high-speed internet and telecommunications services.

He expressed the government’s resolve to make high speed internet widely accessible to individuals and businesses to facilitate the adoption of smart enterprise initiatives, improved innovation and expanded access to global markets.

“Our target is the young people who are actively migrating to the digital space in pursuit of new opportunities.

“This policy will give them wings to fly as high-speed internet services become commonplace in all parts of the state.

“Whether they are setting up their independent ventures, working remotely for firms in diverse parts of the world, the aim is to offer them the backbone they need to live their dreams.

“The Dig Once policy is therefore looking beyond just laying of underground cables and pipes.

“The goal is more far-reaching as we hope to drive job creation for our young people through this policy, fight poverty and make life better for everyone, no matter where they live,” Otti said.

He charged telecom and utility companies, construction firms and individuals who may need to excavate along utility corridors to interface with the government to avoid breaching the provisions of the policy.

The Dig Once Policy was introduced by the Federal Government to promote installation of readymade fibre conduits for seamless fibre deployment across the nation.

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