The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta has called on the Bayelsa State Government, Sen. Douye Diri to revisit the Right of Way (RoW) charges imposed by the State, stressing that such charges are capable of encumbering faster deployment of infrastructure in the State.
The NCC Boss made the call when a delegation from Bayelsa State, led by the State’s Commissioner for Communications, Science and Technology, Dr. Promise Ekio Ekio paid a courtesy to the Management of NCC in Abuja recently.
Prof. Danbatta, who was represented during the meeting by NCC’s Director, Digital Economy, Dr. Augustine Nwaulune, noted that to accelerate broadband infrastructure deployment in the South-South geo-political zone where Bayelsa State is situated, the Right of Way charges imposed by the state government should be revisited.
“Revisiting and reducing the charges will boost digital infrastructure rollout in towns and communities in Bayelsa State and environs for effective economic diversification. The digital economy rides on broadband and ICT infrastructure and one of the factors inhibiting access to telecommunication infrastructure is RoW administration by States and other state actors,” he said.
Danbatta also emphasised the importance of comprehensive training for the youth in Bayelsa State and equipping them with ICT tools to enable them to thrive in a digital economy.
“We are ready to collaborate with Bayelsa to provide training for the youth as long as the State Government provides necessary tools required to achieve objective outcomes of such capacity building initiatives,” he added.
Responding, the Bayelsa State Governor through the Commissioner for Communications, Science and Technology, Dr. Promise Ekio Ekio, said it is ready to collaborate with the Commission to boost telecom infrastructure in the state.
“Therefore, it is our fervent hope that this meeting will be the beginning of a partnership that will blossom in the areas of digital training and rapid ICT infrastructural development, for the benefit of the people of Bayelsa State and other Nigerians living in the State. We want to assure the Commission of our preparedness to work closely with it to fulfill its mandate in the State as well as actualize the vision of Bayelsa State government to leverage ICT for accelerating development,” Ekio said.