The Federal Government has appealed to the state government to revert the new Right of Way(ROW) chargers in the interest of the Nigerian public.
In statement by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) said that if implemented, the new ROW chargers will result in an increase in the costs of operations of the telecoms operators which will naturally be passed to the consumers.
The Minister described the decision of some states of the Federation to increase the Right of Way charges in disregard of the resolutions reached by the National Economic Council (NEC) as dismal.
“It may be 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.
“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 Right of Way (RoW) charge of N145.00 per linear meter of fibre.”
He disclosed that in October 2019, the Federal Government wrote to all the State Governors, drawing their attention to these 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.
Unfortunately, he said some States decided to disregard these resolutions and have, in some cases, increased the RoW charges by over 1,200%.
“We are therefore calling on all State Governors, especially those that have made public their decisions to increase the RoW charges, to reconsider these decisions in the interest of Nigerians as well as for the socio-economic growth and development of the country”, he said.