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The Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), has made a passionate appeal to the Minister of Communications, Dr Isah Pantami on the deteriorating state of running telecoms business in Nigeria and called for ease of doing business.
The group recalled that the ICT Sector accounts for approximately 10% of nominal GDP as against 2016 with a direct contribution of over N1.549trn to the economy. Our sector consistently accounted for over 30% of Nigerian Foreign Direct Investment since its deregulation in year 2001. It is pertinent to state that the ICT Sector has created over 20,000 direct and 1.5 million indirect jobs since its deregulation in 2001.
However, the letter requesting better ease of doing business to the Minister signed by the Chairman, Engr Gbenga Adebayo noted that “Despite the above milestones, it is of great concern to stakeholders that the ICT Sector is still operating below its potentials, as it is faced with fundamental challenges militating against network enhancement and development as well as inadequate infrastructure to support broadband roll out.”
“Specifically, the provision of first class telecoms service in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja has been hampered by the refusal of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) to grant permits to our members to build infrastructure. Despite concerted engagement, FCDA has maintained that due to the need to maintain the Abuja Master Plan, it will not grant approval to our members to build new sites in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
ALTON made it clear that “Without adequate infrastructure, the provision of qualitative telecommunications services cannot be guaranteed. We therefore respectfully invite you to use your good office to liaise with the FCDA to identify suitable locations for new sites build by our members to ensure the provision of qualitative telecoms service in FCT and environs.”
“We require more base stations, more resilient infrastructure and other elements to support stable telecom operations.
“However, we are faced with a number of issues for which we require intervention of Government at the highest level including amongst others, the amended taxes and levies order of 2015; Implications of multiple taxation on telecoms operators with examples such as ecology Tax for gaseous emission, sewage, Sanitation and public convenience levy, sanitation and refuse effluent tax. business premises tax for base stations situated in farm lands, tenements rates charged per base station in some states, and fumigation Levies.”
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