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Nigerian state of Nasarawa eliminates Right of Way costs

By , Contributor
Nigeria , 08 Jan 2024
Dr. Aminu Maida, executive vice chairman of the Nigerian Communication Commission.
Dr. Aminu Maida, executive vice chairman of the Nigerian Communication Commission.

The Nigerian state of Nasarawa has eliminated Right of Way (RoW) costs for the construction, placement, laying, and maintenance of telecoms network equipment in the state.

The charges were eliminated by the State under the aegis of the State Right of Way Regulation 2023, which became effective immediately.

The RoW charge is the fee that telecom companies pay to state governments in exchange for deploying optic cable on state roadways.

The law went into force on December 29, 2023, according to Nasarawa State, and the Nasarawa State Urban Development Board has since been told not to collect charges.

The statement by State Governor Abdullahi Sule was hailed by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

"It is a huge step in the right direction in creating a healthy environment for the digital economy to thrive," NCC vice-chairman and CEO Aminu Maida remarked.

"With this audacious enactment, the target set by the Federal Ministry of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, to achieve 75 percent of our fibre optic cable target—set by the National Broadband Plan—by the end of 2027 has gained further mileage."

Jide Awe, a digital development champion, praised the Nasarawa State RoW regulation 2023 as a significant step towards nurturing the state's growing digital economy.

"Its success will depend on effective implementation and continued policy efforts to promote responsible and sustainable infrastructure development," he went on to say.

The Katsina state government also eliminated the RoW charges last month.

The NCC is in talks with other states about waiving the fees. Africa's largest nation by population and largest economy by GDP is made up of 36 states.

"We hope other states will toe a similar line in easing these charges," Maida said.

Telecom companies have been paying $9 per metre to lay fibre connection across the country.

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