By Emma Okonji
The government of Edo State is collaborating with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on smart city development for the state. The partners have reaffirmed their commitment to working together to improve access to telecoms infrastructure and provide citizens of Edo State with world class telecoms and ICT facilities.
This commitment was made during a meeting between the Executive Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki and the NCC, led by the Executive Commissioner for Stakeholder Management at NCC, Mr. Sunday Dare, which was held atÂ the NCC headquarters recently.
Dare who commended the forward-looking policies of the governor, assured him of the NCCâ€™s readiness to support the achievement of the ICT aspirations of the state through the deployment of fiber infrastructure under the Commissionâ€™s InfraCo project and interventions by the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF).
He noted that the NCC is aggressively driving accessibility to telecoms networks at all nooks and crannies of the federation. He however expressed regret over multiple taxes and regulation in some states of the federation, which he said, is counter-productive for the states because they end up losing substantial revenues and developmental opportunities which could have been stimulated with the presence of telecoms infrastructure. He assured the governor that NCC would remain keen to partner the state to achieve win-win solutions in the overall interests of the good people of Edo State.
In his remarks, the governor noted that the Edo State Government is focused on exploring non-oil resources and has therefore articulated developmental priorities focusing on creating a sense of order and a sense of security, safety and stability necessary to attract requisite investments to develop the state. Since its developmental goals rely on the seamless availability of telecoms/ICT infrastructure, Edo State is passionate about the need to attract robust telecoms infrastructure to drive manufacturing, education and other socio-economic activities.
As an example of the stateâ€™s forward-looking approach, the Obaseki noted that Edo State had always made provision for shared fiber ducts in its road projects and looks forward to engaging with NCC and operators to agree on fiber deployment projects and routes as necessary.
During the meeting, the Executive Secretary of the USPF, Mr. Ayuba Shuaibu confirmed that the USPF has evaluated and agreed to support the College of Education in Benin City and the Institute of Continuing Education in Abudu, Edo State with a grant to establish a computer laboratory and provide optic fiber connectivity to the institutions.
The governor thanked the USPF for the gesture and emphasised that the state would continue yo be committed to the deployment of technology solutions to enhance basic education delivery, skills development and economic opportunities for its citizens.
Dare assured the governor of NCCâ€™s support in this regard. BothÂ parties therefore agreed to explore opportunities for partnership in the deployment of telecoms infrastructure in Edo State in a manner that supports the stateâ€™s developmental objectives and provides citizens with access to fast, efficient andÂ effective telecoms service. The essence is to provide theÂ necessary protection for telecoms infrastructure in the state.