Multiple taxation stifles telecommunications firms, says NCC
FRSC, NCC partner on efficient distress calls
The Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Prof. Umar G. Danbatta yesterday disclosed that multiple taxation by various arms and agencies of government is a barrier to the provision of efficient services by telecommunications companies.
Danbatta also said the commission is set to revolutionise Internet services in the country.The NCC boss spoke during a courtesy call on Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, at his Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta office.
His words: “The NCC has lived up to its bidding by its transparent activities in managing the telecoms sector in Nigeria, which is the more reason it was declared in Ghana as Africa’s Regulator of the Year.”
Despite the achievements listed, Danbatta said the commission still had challenges about continuous growth of the sector. Among these, he said was multiple taxation by the three tiers of government and agencies.
“These worries and concerns stem from the threat to communication operations in various states,” he stated.According to him: “There have been recurring cases of multiple taxation, which threaten the operators and telecommunication services.”
Danbatta said the federal, states, local councils as well as government agencies had introduced multiple tax regimes, which “the operators see as grossly excessive and sometimes inappropriate.
“Operators are in dilemma and because of this, the expansion of the network is stifled. There is also the challenge of vandalism and pilfering of telecoms equipment.”
Amosun in his response lauded NCC’s achievements, adding that his administration would continue to support the commission.
Meanwhile, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) yesterday said it has reached an agreement with the NCC to ensure that Nigerians have access to the emergency phone numbers to make distress calls. As a result of this, customer care number 122, which was formerly used by Airtel will now be exclusively for members of the public to forward complaints to the FRSC.
According to the FRSC Head, Media Relations and Strategy, Bisi Kazeem, the Corps Marshal, Boboye Oyeyemi, during a visit to the NCC in Abuja to strengthen partnership between the two organisations, appealed to the telecoms regulator to ensure that the dedicated line is prevented from public interruptions especially by those who still mistake it for an Airtel line.