ICT Ministry embraces Smart Cities scheme

ABUJA: THE Federal Ministry of Communications Technology has initiated a project aimed at removing arbitrary charges and eradicating multiple taxations across the country.

The Smart States initiative aims to reduce Right of Way (ROW) fees, standardise state levies and taxes on information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure.

According to a document this publication obtained from the Ministry, the department is also convincing State Governors and the relevant authorities to embrace the scheme.

The Ministry said the aim 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 initiative is based on the premise that engaging those in authority at the state and federal level to address the issue of multiple taxations impeding the rollout of critical infrastructures will enable speedy deployment of critical infrastructure,” read a statement.

“Through the initiative, the ministry is helping to ensure that effective measures are adopted to remove arbitrary charges and eradicate multiple taxations across the nation to enable faster deployment ICT infrastructure across the country” the document said.

It added that other benefits to this agreement, include standardise pricing on right of way, taxes and levies, thereby increasing the predictability of cost for infrastructure development in the ICT sector.

The agreement is said to have reduced cost of network deployment and shortened the period for application processing.

The initiative is being implemented in Lagos, Cross River, Federal Capital Territory, Bayelsa and Ondo while the Anambra, Delta, Gombe and Osun States, which have agreed to cooperate with government to become Smart States.

SOURCE: CAJ NEWS AGENCY