Gov Otti Pioneers Initiative To Protect Road Infrastructure, Signs The “Dig Once Policy”

 

Abia State Governor, Dr. Alex Otti has officially signed the “Dig Once Policy,” aimed at regulating and streamlining the installation of underground broadband infrastructure in urban and semi-urban areas of the state.

 

The policy seeks to guide technology firms, construction companies, and other entities involved in laying cables and installing underground utilities infrastructure and technology assets.

 

Speaking while performing the ceremony at the Banquet Hall, Government House Umuahia, Governor Otti said that the initiative would significantly reduce unnecessary damages to underground infrastructure during construction projects and minimize disruptions to internet services.

The Governor noted that the policy is a product of strategic inter- ministerial collaboration directed by his office with the active involvement of the state’s Ministries of Digital Economy and SMEs, Science and Technology as well as the Ministry of Works.

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He pointed out that the objective is to democratize access to high-speed internet, support entrepreneurship, innovation, and expanded access to global markets.

 

The Governor emphasized his administration’s dedication to leveraging high-speed internet and telecommunications services to unlock opportunities for individuals and businesses, particularly for the youths to explore digital avenues for growth.

 

Our target is the young people who are actively migrating to the digital space in pursuit of new opportunities. This policy will give them wings to fly as high-speed internet services become commonplace in all parts of the State.

 

“The Dig Once Policy is therefore looking beyond just laying of underground cables and pipes. The goal is more far-reaching as we hope to drive job creation for our young people through this policy, fight poverty and make life better for everyone, no matter where they live.

 

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The Dig Once Policy will be our most effective tool of coordinating all excavation and trenching projects along utility corridors in ways that avoid duplication of efforts and also protect our road infrastructure from unintended consequences.

 

“Through the erection of underground ducts, service providers can seamlessly deploy their service infrastructure at reduced costs in finances and time“, Gov. Otti stated.

 

Earlier, the Chairman of the Council and Deputy Governor Chief Ikechukwu Emetu represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Kenneth Kalu noted that the policy will protect Abia roads from destruction by communication companies and assured that the Council will deliver on its mandate.

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The event also featured the inauguration of members of the Implementation Council of the Policy headed by the Deputy Governor, Chief Ikechukwu Emetu.