IT NEWS NIGERIA:
* FG must act now to stop multiple levies and telecoms Infrastructure vandalism
Angry Stakeholders Thursday Urged Federal Government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari to Issue Executive Order as a last resort to put an end to multiple taxation and activities of state governments, local communities and agencies against telecoms Infrastructure in the country
Speaking in Lagos at the maiden edition of the Nigerian
Telecom Leadership Summit organised by Nigerian Communications Commission
(NCC), Mrs Omobola Johnson urged the
Federal Government to implement Executive Order in order to curb the lingering
cases of multiple taxation, vandalism of telecom infrastructure by agencies of
government in the country.
The former Minister
of Communications Technology said as a minister she held meetings with some
states about the importance of telecoms to the nation and the need to end
She noted that they would reverse decisions after she left
and the nation cannot afford actions of state governments and Local Communities
against telecoms Infrastructure.
Stakeholders at the event lamented and frowned at the
draconian and extant laws being used by state governors and other agencies of
government to spin revenue from telecom operators.
They believe that the Executive Order will reverse the
trend, where government agencies arbitrarily harass telecom operators in a bid
to generate revenue for their states by all means.
Johnson said “an Executive Order will compel the Nigerian
Communications Commission to be more forceful in terms of regulation. The
Federal Government should give Executive Order to strip out multiple taxation
in the country’s telecom industry. It is a matter of talking to the Governors.”
Omobola, who was the keynote speaker at the summit, with the
theme: ‘Repositioning the Nigerian Telecom Industry for the Future; Prospects
and Challenges’, argues that the idea of engaging the state Governors to step
down on multiple taxation has not worked in the past and may not likely work
“For me, the NCC must not be afraid to innovate or experiment. The regulator must take some risks to innovate. They are in a unique position to give action to state Governors not to temper with telecom infrastructure, as it enables other sectors of the Nigerian economy,” she added.
Echoing Omobola’s position, Engr. Gbenga Adebayo, the
Chairman of the Association of Licenced Telecom Operators of Nigeria (ALTON),
said engagement with the Governors has been ongoing for years and it has not
worked, emphasizing that the regulator needs to be more strategic to do something
“ATM will not work if you close telecom sites. Security
agencies will not be able to track criminals if the sites are closed. The
telecom sector service other sector of the Nigerian ecomony, so any negative
impact on telecom infrastructure is a negative impact on the entire nation.”
He said the multiple taxation and arbitrary closure of
telecom sites has always affected the quality of service, which will turn
impact on other sector.