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We are making the necessary changes to improve the telecoms sector – NCC

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The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has stated that it will continue to fulfill its regulatory responsibility by making the necessary adjustments to the country’s communications infrastructure.

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At the second and third quarter 2023 meeting of the Industry Working Groups (IWG) on numerous taxation and regulations in the telecoms sector, Adeleke Adewolu, Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management at the NCC, made this announcement.

The meeting, which took place on Tuesday in Ibadan, Oyo State, was called in preparation for a more in-depth Regional Stakeholders’ Workshop on Multiple Taxation and Regulations, which was slated to take place the following day in the same location.

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Adewolu, speaking at a meeting attended by top executives from telecom licensees and their umbrella organization, the Association of Licensed Telecom Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), said that the IWG’s work is focused on establishing equitable tax policies and ending instances of double taxation and duplicative regulation in the Nigerian telecom sector.

Since the IWG’s inception more than two decades ago, he said, the industry has accomplished a great deal. This is because the IWG has provided a forum for voicing concerns and proposing solutions.

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Significant progress has been made in the business recently, especially with regard to the problem of double taxation. President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, for example, has signed four executive orders to reduce double taxation in Nigeria.

The increase of Excise Duties on other domestically manufactured products and the suspension of the 5% Excise Duty on communications services are among the most important, he said.

He praised the accomplishments, saying they are examples of what can be accomplished when businesses in the communications sector unite to address the fundamental issues threatening the sector’s economic vitality as a whole.

The industry is still being misled by arbitrary Right of Way (RoW) charges, disguised nuisance taxes, and unauthorized regulatory intrusion, the Executive Commissioner noted, so there is still more to do.

According to him, the Commission has thus far been successful in its efforts to standardize RoW fees across the country.

According to him, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) are two of the sister agencies the Commission is working strategically with to implement the National Economic Council’s (NEC) 2012 resolution.

“We are also working with the Nigerian Mainstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), all in an effort to ensure the regulatory actions taken by the agencies are well synchronized with the regulatory objectives of the Commission,” he said.

While assuring telecom licensees that NCC will always make necessary regulatory intervention to boost industry growth, Adewolu also tasked them with continuing to bring burning issues on multiple taxation and regulation to the attention of the Commission as they experience them in their day-to-day operations.

At the IWG meeting, he said, “The Commission is always inclined to execute the requisite reform that will strengthen the Communications Sector and deepen market development,” and he urged all participants to have an open and fruitful discussion about the most pressing and critical issues.

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