Governor of Kwara of state, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has crashed the Right of Way (RoW) charges for telecommunications and broadband infrastructure firms from N5,500 to N1 per kilometre of fibre.
This is lowest charge in the country, second only to Kaduna state where Governor Nasir El Rufai declared zero charges.
The reduction takes immediate effect and affects all local government areas in the state.
NAN reports that the Commissioner for Communication, Alhaji Murtala Olanrewaju issued a statement to this effect on Sunday.
According to Olanrewaju, up till now telecommunication firms in Kwara state were paying N5,500 per linear metre as the fee for laying fibre cables to strengthen their digital connections.
He noted that the governor’s decision to reduce the charges is part of a larger strategy to deepen digital penetration in the state, improve the ease of doing business, and ease people’s access to the internet and other digital communication even in the remote parts 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,” the commissioner said.
What this means for Telcos
Telecommunication companies can now breathe a sigh of relief with this new development. Where they had paid N5.5 million to lay optic fibre in a 1000km distance, they will now pay as little as N1,000 for the same distance.
Besides promoting deeper internet penetration, this move might also cheapen data and voice call tariffs, as there have been studies to suggest that lesser Right of Way charges, translate into cheaper and better digital services.
The National Economic Council (NEC) earlier this year resolved to improve digital penetration in line with the recommendations of a the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), that a 10 per cent broadband penetration in Africa would lead to a 2.5 per cent increment of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).