By Prince Osuagwu
Association of Telecom Companies of Nigeria, ATCON, yesterday said it has decided to change the method of engagement with the states over alleged arbitrary right of way RoW, levies and duplication of taxes against the telecom companies in Nigeria.
The telecom industry advocacy group said it would rather choose to explain and educate state officials on the importance of telecom infrastructure in their respective states and engage them as special telecom partners.
The group which held its Annual General meeting, AGM/election in Lagos yesterday, promised not to relent in pursuing favourable operating environment for its members.
President of the Association, Mr Olusola Teniola, who was returned un-opposed after the election, expressed regret that fibre optic cables laid by his members were being carelessly cut at will during road constructions or maintenances without any attempt by those who effected the cuts to reinstate them. He said that has been the major challenge faced by members but promised that ATCON will enhance its engagements with the affected States.
On his part, newly elected 1st Vice President of the association, Engr. Ike Nnamani said: The narratives on the relationship between our members and states must change. The engagement strategy must also change. ATCON will channel its advocacy to bridging the information gap on the dangers of excessive taxes and charges by States which are huge impediments to investments in the sector.
“The case of Right of Way (RoW) has lingered, however, State officials have not realised the importance of telecom infrastructures in their respective States. ATCON as the shock observer for its members will do everything possible to defend and amplify their voices for better business environment”.