Digitalisation: Anambra ditches RoW charges for broadband

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The Anambra Government on Thursday said it had started the implementation of zero charges on Right of Way (RoW) per linear meter in the state.

Mr Fred Agbata, the Managing Director, Anambra  State Information Communication Technology (ICT) Agency, disclosed this at a media parley in Lagos.

Agbata said that, by implication, Anambra prided itself as the first state in South-East Nigeria to implement the waiver of the per linear meter RoW charges.

He said that the National Economic Council had, in 2020, recommended N145 per linear meter RoW charges, an amount which the state was now jettisoning.

Right of Way (RoW) is the legal right, established by grant from a landowner or long usage, to pass along a specific route through property belonging to another.

A similar right of access also exists on land held by a government, lands that are typically called public land, state land, or Crown land.

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According to Agbata, the move to forgo accepting payment of the RoW charges is in line with the “Everything Technology and Technology Everywhere” vision of the state governor.

“The Anambra ICT Agency is working in partnership with GICL to deploy about 200 kilometers of fibre optic cables.

“This is under the first phase of the Anambra digital adoption plan.

“This broadband initiative targets Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the state government as well as schools and other clusters.

‘’The State Governor, Prof. Charles Soludo, has demonstrated huge interest in deploying modern strategies to eliminate bottlenecks to digital access, by reversing infrastructure decline in the state.

‘Our partnership with GICL will boost WiFi hotspot rollout to government offices, schools and communities to diversify the economy, leveraging digital services for eGovernment, commerce, education and innovation.

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‘’The implementation of the Right of Way charges removal by the State Government is the first step to a digital economy that will encourage key investors, innovators, and businesses to the state,’’ Agbata said.

He noted that the governor had always demonstrated determination to turn Anambra into a digitally-driven economy.

Agbata said that the broadband drive was one of the many ways to achieve digital adoption, adding that the initiative at the same time connects to other plans.

He stressed that without connectivity, e-Government programmes would become a mirage.

“Africa’s digital landscape is changing at a rapid rate and Anambra is no different.

“The governor approved the implementation of the zero charges on Right of Way because he understands the benefits, which are enormous.

“Partnering with GICL is giving the state a lot of connectivity capacity that will hopefully leapfrog the state’s digital economy agenda.

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“This connectivity achieved in this first phase will be used to power the governor’s lodge, and by extension, a local government and a university, as a pilot,” Agbata said.

He added that the Agency had continued to standardise the state government’s digital assets by moving all government websites to www.anambrastate.gov.ng.

According to him, the Agency has initiated a statewide migration of all government assets to the internet domain name “anambrastate.gov.ng.”

Agbata said that prior to the Soludo administration, government’s digital assets were scattered all over the internet, with different domain names and on different servers.

He said, however, that currently most MDAs had been brought under the standard domain anambrastate.gov.ng in line with the Federal Government policies, amongst other achievements.

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