• Phase 3 canvasses hamonised Right of Way charges
Aerial fiber optic network infrastructure provider, Phase 3 Telecom has said for the country to attain 30 per cent broadband penetration, the country must capitalise on local innovation for ICT sector improvement.
Besides, it stressed that there was need to provide winning solutions to cub infrastructure deficiencies; leverage on ICT for content delivery in health, education, agriculture, oil and gas, banking and other sectors, adding: “More CAPEX is required and the Nigerian government cannot do it alone.”
Phase 3 noted that ICT sector is an immeasurably unique one, and that channeling huge capital investment into the sector would not only accelerate its growth but will position it as the choice arrowhead of weaning Nigeria off its dependency on revenue generation from the oil and gas sector. The firm added that ICT contribution of 12.6 per cent to the nation’s GDP in Q1, 2018 alone attest to this.
Speaking with newsmen, Head of Corporate Communications, Phase 3, Morayo Nwabufo, while calling for hamonised tax regime in the telecoms sector, noted that, RoW charges are non-fixed and left to the discrepancy of states, regions and agencies is no news however, “in there lies the problem still as the legal mechanism which made provisions for operators to deploy infrastructure on federal or state roads, pipelines, railways power transmission lines, among others is also its own chief hurdle in making such developments yield dividends that can rapidly transform the lives of Nigerians as well as sustain socio-economic growth.
“And focusing on largely on the telecoms sector; this bears an urgent rethinking of high expectations that the Nigerian telecoms sector in terms of multilayer revenue generation is better positioned to cushion the adverse effect of unpredictable drop in prices of crude oil, which is still the major commodity for economic sustenance.”
She explained that the telecom space is not without its own chronic wound, which has placed it on a constant limp in terms of broadband penetration by the lofty and uneven costs of RoW that naturally birthed multiple taxation at federal, state, and local government levels.
This development, Nwabufo explained that is often characterized by high cost of leasing transmission infrastructure; and lengthy delays in the processing of permits, which leaves operators at the mercies of several regulatory bodies with no policies to mitigate situational challenges that include existing fibre infrastructure degradation marred by deficient grid electricity supply or damages through road works, cable theft, among others.
“Imperative is it then to reiterate that one of the major challenges that posse a definite threat to the subsistence of operators in providing scalable, affordable and optimal services is the RoW acquisition process and its malignant charges structure which requires being tackled head-on; as it must be stated that such perennial issues in the telecom sector will continue to negatively impact the growth of the industry,” she stated.
To Nwabufor, one of the critical measures that must be taken towards building a more robust telecoms industry that would see the nation take the lead in Africa in exuding the dividends of broadband penetration including economic growth; optimized business performance; sustainable earning capacity of citizens, institutions and industries – is government’s commitment to realistic and uniform cost regularization of RoW acquisition across sectors irrespective of the network of an infrastructure; where it is domiciled or its leasing authority.”
“Since the transformative significance of broadband to how people live, connect and do work in the current information age is synonymous to what electricity was to the industrial age.“More so, partnerships geared towards culling more investment in broadband infrastructure deployment, is key to Nigerians enjoying the enormous deposits of broadband capacities available to the country to increase broadband penetration and to make Nigeria’s broadband initiative a faster reality.”