" ITREALMS: NIG urges provision of ducts as new road standard


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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

NIG urges provision of ducts as new road standard

The Nigeria Internet Group (NIG) has advocated for the provision of ducts on the nation’s new road standard to accommodate laying of cables across the country.

A duct, commonly called utility conduit, is any structure either above or underground which carries public utility lines, although the phrase often refers specifically to underground utility tunnels.

President, NIG, Mr. Adebayo Banjo made this call at a recent media briefing in Lagos to herald the new leadership of the organisation led by him.

According to him, Nigeria needs new road strategies that would accommodate current trends.

“New road construction standards should be adopted by federal and state governments, that make it mandatory to provide ducts, on all new roads constructed,” he suggested.

The merits, NIG leadership said, include the reduction of maintenance manholes, one-time relocation, and less excavation and repair, compared to separate cable ducts for each service or operator.

While he said that one of the greatest advantages is public safety.

Banjo also said that the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) should be primarily spent on projects that have a long life span and can withstand abuse, corruption and mismanagement of projects such as submarine cables, ducts, national and state optical fiber networks, training, awareness, and job creation.

This, he said, could be provided in collaboration with state governments, noting that a duct system on existing state roads would facilitate development.

“We must develop models that can provide internet in villages and in rural areas, perhaps a leaf can be taken from an Indian model where small communities maintain a low cost solar powered, pole mounted access point, from a small stipend collected from the community,” he said.

State governments, NIG opined, should be encouraged to set up low cost networks that could provide access to all levels of educational institutions.

On the Internet for Job (I4J) initiative, he said, it has enjoyed tremendous support from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

He singled out the director Consumer Affairs Bureau at NCC, Mrs. Mary Uduma for special mention, saying she has remained a pillar of support for this initiative.

The recent competition and grant scheme, he pointed out, has produced a wealth of ideas and proposals that truly demonstrate this project has potentials.

“We shall seek support to expand this project with the help from well meaning Nigerians, institutions and all tiers of government,” he said.

Banjo stressed that NIG would include among this initiative the collection of protocols, methods, systems and courses that are required to handle remote computing, management, and jobs.

Jobs possible from ones home, he said, could be facilitated through the internet, in anticipation of the much expected broadband revolution.

“We welcome any assistance whether it is monetary, expert advice or suggestions,” he submitted.

Remmy Nweke:
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