- The Federal Government has called on State Governors who have announced their intention to increase the Right of Way, RoW, charges in their respective states to reconsider the decision.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim said governors that have already made such pronouncement should reconsider it in the interest of Nigerians as well as for the socio-economic growth and development of the country.
“We received with dismay the decision of some states of the Federation to increase the RoW charges in disregard of the resolutions reached by the National Economic Council, NEC.
“We also draw their attention that these decisions, if implemented, will result in an increase on the costs of operations of the telecoms operators which will naturally be passed to the consumers”, the minister said.
The minister recalled that in 2013, NEC set up a Committee comprising State Governors and Ministers to review the issues of multiple taxation in the telecommunications Industry in Nigeria and its impact.
Ibrahim added that the Committee, after extensive and wide-ranging consultations, resolved to harmonize the taxes applicable to broadband related activities and streamline the taxation management processes across the Federation.
“Specifically, to deepen broadband penetration for the social and economic development of the country, the Committee agreed to the uniform RoW charge of N145.00 per linear meter of fibre.
“It is however disheartening to hear that some states have decided to disregard these resolutions and have, in some cases, increased the RoW charges by over 1,200 person”, he added.
He noted that a breach of the resolution will no doubt impact negatively on the efforts being made by the Federal Government.
He further observed that it has been established that there is a strong correlation between a country’s broadband penetration and its Gross Domestic Product.
“An ITU study on Africa indicates that a 10 percent of broadband penetration would result in an increase of 2.5 percent of GDP per capita”, he stressed.
The minister said the Federal Government had written to the State Governors in October last year, drawing their attention to the resolutions and soliciting their support and collaboration towards the realisation of the National Digital Economy by fast-tracking the deployment of broadband infrastructure for the provision of affordable internet services to underserved and unserved areas.