Another Nigerian state eliminates right of way costs

Another Nigerian state eliminates right of way costs

Nasarawa State in the North Central region of Nigeria has eliminated right of way (RoW) costs for the construction, placement, laying and maintenance of telecoms network equipment in the state.

An RoW charge varies from country to country, but is usually a fee paid by operators to a country’s or state's government in exchange for deploying fibre optic cable on roadways.

The charges were eliminated by Nasarawa, a state whose current population is approximately 2.5 million, since the passing of legislation last year, after which Nasarawa State Urban Development Board has been told not to collect charges.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) seems to be pleased with this decision and suggests the move will boost efforts to meet the Federal Ministry of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy's fibre optic cable target.

The Katsina state government (in the northwest of the country bordering Niger), eliminated RoW charges last month. The NCC is reportedly in talks with the country’s 34 other states about waiving the fees.

According to ITWeb Africa, service providers have been paying $9 per metre to lay fibre across Nigeria.

RoW fees have been a bone of contention in some regions but the economic benefits of speedy rollout are outweighing those of short-term profit in a few cases. There has, for example, been a significant boost for Tanzanian operators with the government’s decision, announced in July last year, to slash the country’s RoW fee from US$1,000 per kilometre to only US$200 per kilometre.

In India meanwhile, there have been high hopes for faster 5G rollout since the introduction in 2022 of a new right of way portal.

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