The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said that despite its efforts and thebrecent executive orders issued by President Bola Tinubu on taxes, the telecom industry is still burdened with hidden taxes.
The Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management at the NCC, Adeleke Adewolu, stated this while addressing stakeholders at the combined second and third quarters 2023 meeting of the Industry Working Groups (IWG) on multiple taxation and regulations in the telecoms sector. While noting that the IWG has achieved a lot over the years, he said a lot of work still needs to be done “as the industry is still beguiled by arbitrary Right of Way (RoW) charges, hidden nuisance taxes and unauthorized regulatory encroachment into the communications industry.”
As such, he said the Commission has continued to work assiduously to ensure harmonization of RoW charges across the country. Besides several existing agencies the Commission has been working with, it is also collaborating strategically with sister agencies such as the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), in line with the National Economic Council (NEC) resolution of 2012 and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
Highlighting other regulatory partnerships aimed at addressing some of the challenges of the telecom industry, Adewolu said:
“We are also working with the Nigerian Mainstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), all in a bid to ensure the regulatory actions taken by the agencies are well synchronized with the regulatory objectives of the Commission, in a manner that boosts market development and industry sustainability.”
Addressing the meeting, attended by senior executives of telecom licensees and their umbrella body, the Association of Licensed Telecom Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Adewolu said the IWG’s activities are geared towards ensuring fair tax policies and eliminating every incident of multiple taxation and regulations impacting the Nigerian telecommunications industry.
He stated that the industry has recorded a lot of milestones since the establishment of the IWG over two decades ago, as the platform has proven to be effective in articulating industry concerns in this area and also proffering solutions to these issues.