13th July 2024
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Brief Remark By Abia State Governor, Dr. Alex C. Otti, OFR, At The Official Signing Of The Dig-Once Policy In Abia State On May 1, 20204.

Brief Remark By Abia State Governor, Dr. Alex C. Otti, OFR, At The Official Signing Of The Dig-Once Policy In Abia State On May 1, 20204.


1.      I am glad to welcome everyone joining us for this brief ceremony where the State’s “Dig Once” policy will be signed to become an official policy of government to regulate and direct the laying and installation of underground broadband technology infrastructure for individual and enterprise use in our urban and semi-urban communities.

2.      This policy is expected to guide technology companies, construction outfits, and all other entities whose activities and business model involve excavation, laying of cables and the installation of underground utilities infrastructure and technology assets.

3.      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.

4.      Additionally, the Dig Once Policy will bring about drastic reduction in the needless losses arising from the destruction of underground cables and other infrastructure types in the course of construction projects, and the subsequent disruption in internet services.

5.      The policy we have just signed is the product of strategic inter-ministerial collaboration directed by my office with the active involvement of the State’s Ministries of Digital Economy and SMEs, Science and Technology and Works. I want to specially thank the commissioners and their teams for the hard work and sacrifices to get this across the finish line in good time.

6.      In very practical terms, the signing of this policy signals our firm commitment to tap into the endless opportunities and promises of the world of high-speed internet and telecommunications services.

7.      Our 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, and the opportunities that have supercharged the prosperity of many communities and nations across the world.

8.      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.

9.      Whether they are setting up their independent ventures, working remotely for firms in diverse parts of the world, selling their products or buying from virtual shops in other places, the aim is to offer them the backbone they need to live their dreams.

10.  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.

11.  Not much will be achieved in this regard without the active support of all stakeholders and these include telecom and utility companies, construction firms and individuals who may need to excavate along our utility corridors.

12.  You are required to interface with the relevant agencies to ensure that you are not in breach of the provisions of this policy. Having reviewed the general framework and specific guidelines contained in this policy, I can say without equivocation that it is in the best interest of every party to take advantage of the structure we have already put in place which are in line with global best practices.

13.  Thank you for listening and welcome to the dawn of a new era.

Dr Alex C. Otti, OFR.

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