By Oluwatobi Opusunju
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said it is seeking for the intervention of the National Economic Council (NEC) to eliminate multiple taxation and other regulatory hurdles in the sector.
Multiple taxation and issues concerning right of way (RoW) have connived to hamper network rollout and slow down operators’ growth projections. About $70 billion telecoms investments have been stalled, said those in the sector who should know.
But Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta who was speaking at a recent interactive session in Lagos with media chiefs and ICT news editors said the commission was already working with the NEC on ways to end the menace. The NEC, inaugurated in 2015 by the federal government is led by the Vice President, Prof. Osinbajo and draws membership from governors across the 36 states of the country.
“We are currently seeking for a review of the National Economic Council’s recommendations on ways that will eliminate multiple taxation and regulations that have created bottlenecks in the provision of services in different states of the federation.
“Constantly, ICT has huge potential for the future economic development of the country. This is why we are consulting with governments at various levels, especially with the state governments to key into these huge potentials. This they can do by discouraging some of their officials, agencies and departments that create bottlenecks with multiple regulation and taxations and denial of right of ways that hinder fast deployment of infrastructure and services,” said Danbatta to the media chiefs.
The telecom regulator said the commission has identified some coverage gaps across the country and was already making efforts to bridge the gaps. His words:
“Using a combination of regulatory frameworks and incentives, the commission is working towards bridging the gaps currently existing in various parts of the country.”