NITDA Bill will slice sector’s capital inflow, ATCON warns
The Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) said the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) bill will erode investors’ confidence and drastically reduce capital inflow into the sector.
ATCON, in a memorandum signed by the National President, Tony Emoekpere and addressed to the Senate Committee on the NITDA Bill, said members are opposed to the passage of the bill in its current form because it has devastating and negative consequences for the entire industry.
ATCON cited some of the consequences to include, reduced capital importation into the industry, loss of confidence by both local and international investors as well as unnecessary overlapping and duplication of regulation and objectives, which are already captured in the Nigerian Communication ACT 2003.
According to ATCON, the bill sponsored by the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy would have a direct impact on the operations of its members.
ATCON added that the proposed legislation permits “the takeover of telecoms and ICT infrastructure by NITDA based on their determination that they should do that without going through any legal process, and that means any private business can be shut down or taken over by NITDA at will. This will destroy investors’ confidence in the sector.”
It noted the transition the bill would pose for NITDA, which is to transform the “development agency to a regulator and the proposed mandate directly infringes on the regulatory activities of other regulators including the banking, financial services, insurance, health care, commerce, education, agriculture, telecommunications, etc.”