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[August 18, 2014]
Anambra Says Yes to Smart State Initiative
(AllAfrica Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Effort to create enabling environment for the deployment of communications infrastructure across the nation has started yielding the expected result as Anambra state has joined the league of states in the smart state initiative.
The purpose of the Smart States initiative is to ensure that effective measures are adopted to remove arbitrary charges and eradicate multiple taxations across the nation.
The new partnership with the Federal Government on smart state initiative is expected to create an enabling environment that would position Anambra as a smart state.
Accordingly, the initiative will lead to the accelerated roll out of critical ICT infrastructure across the state necessary for development.
With Anambra as one of the states selected by the Broadband Council to facilitate ICT infrastructure rollout critical for development, the new development will also lead to a reduction in the cost of network deployment and an increase in the rollout of such networks to commercial centers, underserved and rural areas by communications operators.
Other smart states selected by the Broadband Council include Bayelsa, Gombe, Katsina and Ondo. It would be recalled that Lagos has already reduced ROW charges by 85%. Before now, Bayelsa has already signed an MoU on the smart state initiative.
The Ministry of Communication Technology and the Broadband Council chaired by Dr Omobola Johnson, is promoting a "smart state" initiative geared at engaging governors and relevant authorities at the state and federal level to address the issue of multiple taxation impeding the acceleration of the roll out of critical infrastructure across Nigeria.
However, the agreement with Anambra would foster an enabling environment for the deployment of communications infrastructure that will lead to a reduction in the cost of network deployment and an increase in the rollout of such networks to commercial centers, underserved and rural areas by communications operators.
With this, an enabling environment will be created that will increase broadband penetration -both fixed and mobile and increase access to such services at affordable prices for customers, creating digitally enabled urban areas called 'smart cities'.
Those states that provide such an enabling environment, according to the ministry will be labeled 'Model States' and afforded the utmost support in achieving these objectives.
In exchange participating states can expect to see growth in economic activity and productivity and subsequently the positive development of the state.
This initiative will cover the following- Standardized fees for site building and approvals within the state, reduction in fees and possibility of waiver for Right of Way in deserving instances, implementation of a Dig-Once Policy, promotion of collocation between operators in the State and connectivity to state institutions within 1km of the given Right of Way.
Copyright Vanguard. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com).
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