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NCC, FCT to harmonise exorbitant fees, QoS ahead of smart city deal

More challenges that will hobble the emerging regime of smart city in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) will soon be resolved as the Ministry and the regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) are set to partner to drive the deal.

Explaining issues during a recent courtesy visit to office of the Minister, Mohammed Musa Bello, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof Umar Danbatta noted that the Federal Capital Territory appears to have some of the most challenging issues with Quality of Service when compared with other cities across the country as a result of some unresolved challenges.

According to him, the key troubles include Collocation of Telecommunication Base Stations in the FCT, and even where operators are willing to collocate, they are yet to receive collocation guidelines from the FCT.

Others are the 2006 fee regime of the FCTA, where it was agreed in a meeting between operators, FCTA and NCC in 2006 that the FCTA and NCC will meet and harmonize positions on the astronomical increase in fees for building permits imposed by FCTA. This has not been done and operators have continued to receive bills from the Administration based on the 2006 rates.

NCC also highlighted the issue of retrospective FCTA laws that affect telecom facilities, arguing that any law or policy by the FCTA that affect telecom facilities should not be made retroactive.

He listed other challenges to include activities of road construction companies in the FCT, delayed approval for installation of base stations/fibre deployments and implementation of National Economic Council resolution on Multiple Taxation, Levies and Charges on ICT Infrastructure in Nigeria.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Minister, Bello, assured NCC of support in every effort to deepen the smart city initiative of the territory.