ALTON Seeks FG Support to Address Operational Challenges
ASSOCIATION of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) is seeking the intervention of the federal government to address operational challenges faced by telecommunications operators in the country in their efforts to deliver quality services.
Engr. Gbenga Adebayo, chairman, ALTON, made the call during a courtesy visit to Professor Yemi Osibajo, Vice President of Nigeria in Abuja.
He said that despite progress made by the sector, it is of great concern that the sector is still operating below its potentials and faces fundamental network operations and expansion challenges related to build capacity and viable infrastructure to support broadband roll out.
“We require more base stations, more resilient infrastructure and other elements to support stable telecom operations. However, we are faced with a number of issues for which we require intervention of Government at the highest level; among them is multiple taxation on our industry that has remained one of the most critical risks to the growth of the sector.”
He added that taxes are created in most states of the federation with no economic basis and refusal to pay often lead to arbitrary closure of telecom base station and seizure of tools and equipment in very crude ways by tax agents of the states.
“Our industry supports many other economic sectors of the economy. We are also in the first layer of critical infrastructure for socio economic development and security. Unless we have first level of protection by Government, it will be difficult to continue to provide uninterrupted services with the type of venerability of our members and their infrastructure. We kindly request for a presidential declaration of Telecom Infrastructure as Critical National Security and Economic Infrastructure as provided by the cybercrime law of 2015.”
Adebayo however appeal for support from the Government for safe access to operators’ base station sites, exchanges and other critical equipment that were destroyed by insurgents in the North East of Nigeria, and therefore seeks concession by way of relieves to members who are rebuilding damaged infrastructure in those areas: we are asking for concession by waivers and relieves from Government.