Awka – As part of efforts at facilitating adequate Broadband Infrastructure Deployment and creating a sustainable digital economy with prospects for all its sectors, Anambra State Government will on Tuesday, March 30, 2021, be hosting a Broadband Stakeholders’ Virtual Forum.
The Stakeholders’ Virtual Forum has as its theme “Facilitating Broadband Access in Anambra State through a Favourable Right of Way Regime”, and is scheduled to hold on Tuesday at 02:00pm (West African Time).
Executive Chairman, Anambra State Physical Planning Board, Barr. Chike Maduekwe in a pre-event briefing on Thursday in Awka, said Federal and State Government officials, members of diplomatic corps, investors, industry associations and other, are among the expected participants.
Some of the distinguished personalities to lead discussions at the session, he noted, will include Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Alhaji Isa Ali Pantami, and the Managing Director, MainOne, Ms Funke Opeke.
“Other participants will be the Counsellor to the United Kingdom Government, Guy Harrison, the Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar GarbaDanbatta, Representatives of Mobile Network Operators, Industry Stakeholders among others,” he disclosed.
Maduekwe said in recognition of the fact that exorbitant Right of Way (RoW) charge is chief among hindrances to deepening broadband infrastructure deployment and access, the state government under Governor Willie Obiano in June, 2020 waived the charges for Right of Way (RoW) for fiber optic cable deployment.
“The Governor, waived the charges from N600 per linear meter to Zero Naira as the State unveiled its “Integrated Urban Regeneration Initiative” as a tactical move to reverse infrastructure decline in urban and semi-urban areas, boost digital infrastructure rollout to towns and communities and diversify the economy, leveraging digital services for commerce, education, innovation, manufacturing and e-Government,” the ANSPPB boss revealed.
He explained that the forum seeks garner the support of the stakeholders in achieving the deployment of modern physical planning strategies to eliminate bottlenecks to digital access within the State and boost digital infrastructure rollout to towns.
“We recognize the stakeholders’ immense impact and contributions to the Nigerian telecommunications industry and their remarkable roles, to facilitate broadband access, either at policy development or investment levels. Anambra State is ready for broadband infrastructure investments.
“Anambra State Government has drawn inspiration from the Federal Government’s efforts and initiatives, but also recognizes that it needs the support of players in the ecosystem, for a success of its broadband rollout programme in the State. We envisage that high level involvement and participation in our planned Stakeholders’ Forum is a critical first step in this direction”, he explained.
Maduekwe also disclosed plans by the state government to take executive bill to state house assembly for the broadband insulation targeted at boosting digital security.