The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said multiple taxations and duplicated regulations across government Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) are threatening Nigeria’s quest to achieve sufficient telecommunication infrastructure in the country.
NCC Executive Commissioner (stakeholders’ management), Sunday Dare, stated this in Benin on Thursday at the South-South stakeholders’ parliament themed: “Optimising the benefit of telecom infrastructure in Nigeria.”
Dare said multiple taxations have remained the greatest impediments to achieving its technology infrastructure objectives and that the licensed Infracos have not been able to take off due to opportunistic charges and unstructured right of way.
Dare explained that Infracos was to ensure faster deployment of broadband infrastructure so that schools and other institutions could be connected to the information superhighway.
He lamented that the frequent shut down of transmission bases by state governments’ agencies seeking to recover irregular charges and taxes lead to financial losses to all parties.
He said the Commission decided to hold the regional parliament in Benin, in line with Governor Godwin Obaseki’s policy of placing technology and ICT at the heart of governance in the state, especially with the establishment of the Ministry of Science and Technology to enhance the pace of development.
“The recent commissioning of the ‘Edo technology Hub’ is reputably, the first state-backed technology hub in the entire country. I can recall that His Excellency met with the NCC leadership in Abuja sometimes this year to explore opportunities for improving access to telecommunications infrastructure and providing Edo citizens with world class telecoms and ICT facilities,” he said.
“NCC is already supporting the state with fibre connectivity and computer laboratory services at the College of Education in Benin City and the Institute of Continuing Education, ICE, in Abudu,” he said.
On his part, Gbolahon Awonuga, an official of the Association of Licensed Telecom Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), identified the issue of multiple taxations, shutting down of telecom base, security theft, vandalization of facilities, among others as challenges confronting the operators.