Lagos, Nigeria

Nigeria partners with UK to further regulatory reforms on Right of Way

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The  British Government through its Prosperity Fund’s Digital Access Programme, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the Digital Access Programme have hosted the first Nigeria Technical Conference on Right of Way ( RoW).

This is  to  get  suggestion from key stakeholders, towards the advancement of policy and regulatory reforms on Right of Way (RoW) and Issuance of Planning permits for Mast and Towers.

The virtual forum is one of the key deliverables of the UK’s Technical Assistance project on RoW, which was initiated in April 2020 to assess the existing strategy, charging regime and measure that against economic development indicators.

The programme covers five countries: Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Brazil and Indonesia.

In a remark the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing commended  the efforts made so far by federal governmebt to provide inclusive digital access to millions of its citizens, as the world relies more heavily on internet connectivity as a result of the ravaging Covid-19 pandemic and  noted  that such progress has brought about substantial digital inequities as can be seen in basic necessities such as health, education,  and work.

He said  COVID19 pandemic has, however, made the world rely more heavily on internet connectivity for access to basic necessities – health, education, work, shopping, convenience and other services and Nigeria has seen great progress in the effort to provide inclusive digital access to millions of its citizens.

He added that  the UK is keen to support the promotion of affordable, inclusive, safe and secure digital access for underserved or excluded populations, stressing that the conference  is a significant step to discuss the technical findings of its preliminary study, outcomes, lingering challenges and the way forward.

 “I hope that this deliberation will culminate into an increased digital inclusion as a basis for a more thriving local tech ecosystem, generating skilled jobs and innovative solutions for local development challenges,” he added.

“Nigeria has seen great progress in the effort to provide inclusive digital access to millions of its citizens. The COVID19 pandemic has however, made the world rely more heavily on internet connectivity for access to basic necessities – health, education, work, shopping, convenience and other services. As such, substantial digital inequities have been revealed.

“The UK is keen to support the promotion of affordable, inclusive, safe and secure digital access for underserved or excluded populations, and this conference is a significant step to discuss the technical findings of our preliminary study, outcomes, lingering challenges and the way forward.”

In a remark the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isah Ali Ibrahim Pantami thanked  the UK Government for supporting the Nigeria Digital Economy agenda.

According to Dr Pantami  the UK Government  had earlier supported Nigeria in the development of the new national broadband plan through the Digital Access Programme.

“Nigeria has in the last 1 year of my time as Minister, added 10% to the broadband penetration level in the country. RoW reforms is the key to unlocking Nigeria’s digital economy for inclusive digital growth and we have worked with the Nigerian Governors Forum to achieve some important results already.  We will continue to champion this reforms on RoW and work on the challenges identified by the technical study.” Pantammi said…

Meanwhile, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigeria Communications Commission, Prof Umar Garba Danbatta said that the support from the UK Government will go a long way in championing reforms on RoW to deepen digital inclusion in Nigeria.

 Professor Danbatta, who was represented by Mr. Adeleke Adewolu, Executive Commissioner Stakeholder Management at NCC said

“The Technical Assistance on RoW reforms will assist in our quest for deepening broadband penetration in Nigeria. NCC is willing and ready to advance the reforms noted in the technical study and will collaborate with stakeholders to affect it in the short, medium and long term,”

The virtual forum was attended by Hon. Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isah Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigeria Communications Commission, Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum and Governor of Ekiti State, His Excellency Governor Kayode Fayemi , Governor of Imo state , Senator Hope Uzordinma and other state governors from the North.

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