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Lagos backs down on telecoms infrastructure

03 December 2013, 16:20

Abuja - The Lagos State Government has softened its stance on the installation, roll-out and deployment of base stations and fibre optic cables in the area.

This follows concern among stakeholders in the telecoms sector, who accused the state government of being “too stringent” on issues such as taxes, levies, decommissioned sites and Right of Way fees.

Key officials of the Federal Ministry of Communication Technology, the Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) and the state government have met in a development that has culminated in the state backing down on some demands.

In response to the issues of high taxes imposed on telecoms companies, the state government said it would immediately reduce taxes and levies on the firms by over 40 percent and Right of Way Fees to N500 per linear metre, down from N5 000.

It however hinged the reduction on the ground that operators agreed to use approved and qualified contractors who would ensure the integrity of the roads after the fibre had been installed in the event that there was no fibre duct on the road.

Speaking at the meeting Lagos Governor Babatunde Fashola said the Government was not hindering firms from expanding as it was in the interest of the state for telecoms companies to embark on such projects.

“We need you to roll out probably more than you need it but we do not need it at the expense of our roads, or lives of the people. Infrastructure must be built to very high standards,” he told operators.

Information Communication Technology Minister Omobola Johnson praised the State Government for leading the charge in removing many of the barriers to telecoms infrastructure deployment in Lagos. She expressed her hope that many other states would emulate Lagos.

- CAJ News


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