By Daud Olatunji
ABEOKUTA- Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, yesterday, raised alarm over multiple taxation from states and local governments across the country, claiming it is threatening the operations of the telecommunication companies.
The Vice-Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, made this complaint on Tuesday during a courtesy visit to the Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, in his Oke Mosan office, Abeokuta.
The NCC boss lamented that the Memorandum of Understanding signed between Nigerian Governor’s Forum and a former Minister of Communications, which covered all the issues, was not adhered to.
He said apart from multiple taxation, the telecoms operators also suffered vandalism and pilfering of telecoms equipment, which hampered expansion of their networks.
He further said that some of the government agencies across the country often threatened to shut down their Base Transceivers Stations over alleged refusal to comply with their tax regime.
This, he argued, the operators see as grossly excessive and at times inappropriate.
He said, “There have been recurring cases of multiple taxation which threaten the operators and by extension telecommunications services.
“There have also been issues of Right of Way approvals to telecoms companies. Various tiers of government including local council and state government agencies have created enormous challenges to the sector.
“And some of these agencies of government threaten to shut down Base Transceivers Stations over alleged refusal of the telecoms companies to comply with a tax regime, which the operators see as grossly excessive and at times inappropriate.
“The operators are in a dilemma. And because of this, expansion of the networks is heavily stifled.”
Danbatta noted that unless these challenges were tackled with pragmatic approach, subscribers in the country might continue to witness erratic services.
He appealed to governor Amosun to help plead with his colleagues in the NGF, to find a permanent solution to these challenges.
In his response, Governor Amosun promised to talk with other governors in the NGF of the need to harmonise taxes payable by telecoms operators.