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Neck cutting terms put off Infracos from accessing NCC’s N3b subsidy offer—Survey

Reasons why none of the telecoms Infrastructure Companies (InfraCos) has been able to access the N3b made available by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for assistance in the deployment of services in the country emerged weekend.

The facility has been approved by the National Assembly, and would be executed on a yearly basis.

However, in an interview with a top official of one of the Infracos, he disclosed that “Taking the fund is like going to US on foot from Nigeria”.

“Some of us have observed that the terms and conditions for accessing the fund are not designed to make the fund attractive to any serious investor wishing to recoup his investment.

The official who preferred to be anonymous said “Instead of approaching any bank or the CBN for that facility, we prefer looking for funds abroad where terms are very clear and flexible for business.

“Are you aware that iConnect, a subsidiary of IHS Nigeria, has returned its operating licence for the North Central region, due to delays in getting approval for RoW, and other discouraging roll out charges by state agencies?

“Simply, all we the Infracos need are attractive regime of Right of Way (RoW) from states government. In fact, let the federal government prevail on states to make issues of RoW affordable. We have made all manner of presentation before the federal government on what we want and the Council of State recently chaired by the Acting President has heard us very loud and clear. I don’t know what is holding back all the understanding we had with government vide the Council of States and their promises.

According to him, “Infracos will prefer a salutary RoW regime than giving us a funding facility that will kill our businesses in future.

The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, during an interaction with journalists in Abuja last week, confirmed that none of the licensed InfraCos have accessed the subsidy.