Gov Otti Signs ‘Dig Once’ Policy To Regulate Telecom, Public Utility Assets

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Abia State Governor, Dr. Alex Otti, OFR, on Wednesday signaled his administration’s bold move to prepare the State for technological advancement with the signing of the “Dig Once Policy”.

The DOP is an official document of Abia State Government that would regulate the laying and installation of underground broadband technology assets and other public utility infrastructure for individual and enterprise use in urban and semi-urban areas of the State.

Speaking while performing the ceremony at Government House, Umuahia, Governor Otti said the policy is expected to guide technology companies, construction outfits and all other entities whose activities and business model involve excavation, laying of cables and installation of underground utility infrastructure and technology assets.

According to the Governor, the policy would also bring about drastic reduction in the needles losses arising from the destruction of underground cables and other infrastructure in the course of projects construction and subsequent disruption in internet services.

He said 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 Works.

Governor Otti said that the signing of the policy signals the commitment of his administration to tap into the endless opportunities and promises of the world of high-speed internet and telecommunications services.

According to the governor, the focus is to make high speed internet widely accessible to individuals and businesses in ways that support the adoption of smart enterprise initiatives, improved innovation and expanded access to global markets.

“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.

“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,” Governor Otti stated.

Earlier, the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Professor Kenneth Kalu, noted that the policy will protect Abia roads from destruction by being dug up regularly for the purpose of laying cables or pipes. He assured that the Council would deliver on its mandate.

Highlight of the ceremony was the inauguration of members of the implementation council of the policy headed by the deputy governor, Engr. Ikechukwu Emetu.

Chief Press Secretary to the Governor
Abia State
Government House, Umuahia
May 2, 2024.

Picture below: Abia State Governor, Dr. Alex Otti, OFR, signing the Dig Once Policy document after it was presented to him by the Commissioner for Digital Economy and SMEs, Dr. Matthew Ekwuribe (right).

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By Abia ThinkTank

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