July 22, 2024
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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said it will engage state and local governments in removing the Right of Way (ROW) charges and multiple taxation-threatening telecommunication operations and investments in the country. 

NCC’s Executive Vice Chairman (EVC), Aminu Wada Maida, said this on Tuesday, in a media parley with members of the Abuja chapter of the Nigerian Telecommunication Reporters Association (NITRA). 

Maida lamented that about huge amount of taxes are already imposed on telecom operators, making it difficult to attract foreign investments into the sector in line with President Bola Tinubu’s directive to the NCC. 

He said:  “We are going to be going on an advocacy campaign to see how we can convince the states to remove some of these obstacles like Right of Way and multiple taxations because I have seen some studies which indicate taxation is almost 50% getting to 55% in some areas in this country.

“And you would agree with me that if we are trying to bring in foreign investment that is not a good picture to paint.”

He appealed to states to consider the long-term benefits that would come to them if they allowed massive investments in the sector as job opportunities would be created alongside other value chains in the sector. 

 Maida also disclosed that the dispute between the two telecom giants, MTN Nigeria and Globacom Network, has been resolved amicably, and a press statement will be released on it soon. 

He added that the Commission is more interested in a level playing ground for all stakeholders. 

The NCC boss said: 

“The issues between two of the top big operators which, hopefully, sometime today or tomorrow, we will be making a press release to let Nigerians and other stakeholders know that the two titans, sat down between themselves and resolved their issues, happily.

“We are going to be putting in measures to ensure they don’t get to that stage again. And like I said we need to foster collaboration before we get to compliance and enforcement. And for our licensees, the commission is committed to making life easier for them so we are going to be doing a lot of advocacy.”

He said the Commission has developed a strategic Vision based on five pillars to drive the telecom industry and ensure that it continues to contribute to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country.

The NCC EVC acknowledged the challenges associated with the quality of services from Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and Internet Services Providers (ISPs), saying that the Commission would adopt “a total consumer experience” to address existing challenges. 

He added: “When there is regulation without any consequences or enforcements on obligations, you will agree with me that those obligations the chances of being met are very low. So, as we drive towards delivering optimal quality of experience for our customers, we intend to hold our licensees accountable for all services, after all the consumers pay for the services, and they expect the service to be at a certain level or point.

“Last week, I spoke about compliance and enforcement, but we will also, first of all, be collaborators. We will place a very high premium on collaboration with all critical stakeholders, including yourselves to ensure that everybody is carried along in a cooperative process so that we can try to create win-win scenarios for everybody; but, of course, if that is not possible, all the licensees have an obligation, and we will not hesitate to enforce it for the clients.”

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