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FG, Bayelsa sign MoU on Smart State initiative


News » Technology/Innovation
Nigeria

July.22.3014

The Federal Ministry of Communication Technology and Bayelsa State Government have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the ‘Smart State’ initiative.

A statement on Monday said the initiative being promoted by the ministry and the Broadband Council was aimed at engaging state governors and relevant authorities at both state and federal levels to address the problem of multiple taxation said to be frustrating the rollout of critical infrastructure in Nigeria.

The initiative, it added, was to ensure that effective measures were adopted to remove arbitrary charges and eradicate multiple taxations across the nation.

Bayelsa is one of the states selected by the Broadband Council to facilitate the Information and Communication Technology infrastructure rollout critical for development.

Other smart states selected by the council, according to the statement, are Anambra, Gombe, Katsina and Ondo. Lagos has already reduced the Right of Way charges by 85 per cent.

It said the MoU was signed during the just concluded Bayelsa State Investment and Economic Forum 2014 held in Yenagoa, the state capital.

It said the Minister of Communication Technology, Dr. Omobola Johnson, made a presentation on ‘Technology Infrastructure and e-Commerce Growth’ at the BSIEF.

Johnson stressed the future opportunities in the Nigerian ICT industry, primary drivers and factors influencing the adoption of e-commerce as well as the ministry’s role in facilitating the ICT development and e-commerce growth.

The minister urged Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson to focus on the development of the ICT infrastructure in the state by waiving the Right of Way levy for two years.

“If RoW levy is waived, it will make it easy for fibre to be built in the state by reducing multiple taxation; enabling new roads being built or rehabilitated to have fibre duct infrastructure; assign a single agency to collect levies, taxes and fees on behalf of the state and protect the ICT infrastructure in the state,” she said.

Dickson pledged a 50 per cent reduction in RoW charges and the setting up of a single agency to administer the collection of all taxes and levies in the state.

He said that Bayelsa was proud to be selected as a smart state, saying, “We would put in place all necessary measures needed to make Bayelsa a model ICT state in Nigeria.”

The ministry, in partnership with the Ministry of Works, had developed new Right of Way guidelines for federal roads to enable operators to have unencumbered means of laying fibre optics, critical for infrastructure development and quality of service.

The ministry, the statement also said, got state governors and relevant authorities at the state and federal levels to address the issue of multiple taxation and adopt measures that would remove arbitrary charges to enhance service delivery across the nation.

It recalled that an agreement with the Lagos State government, facilitated by the ministry, was brokered to address issues of RoW and base station deployment, adding that the cost of RoW was slashed by 85 per cent.

Article Credit: Punchng

Updated 3 Years ago
 

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Tags:     Federal Ministry of Communication Technology     Dr. Omobola Johnson     Memorandum     Smart State     Bayelsa

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