NCC to telcos: Give us time to resolve multiple taxation issues

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has appealed to telecommunication operators to allow it more time to resolve issue bordering on multiple taxation.

In a statement made available to TheCable on Thursday, Efosa Idehen, NCC’s director, compliance monitoring and regulation, empathised with telcos over the challenges they face.

In an earlier statement, Gbenga Adebayo, president of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) had lamented the burden of multiple taxes placed on telcos by different government agencies.

Adebayo had said operators may be forced to shut down services in states that have closed base transceiver stations (BTS).

“No business can survive a situation where you have invested billions of naira to roll-out critical national infrastructure, where you have made projections on the taxes and charges you will pay over the next few years and the revenues you expect, only to have inordinate high charges imposed with no time to plan and then have your infrastructure shut down by government agencies without notice,” Idehen said.

“No business can thrive in an environment where costs are higher than revenues. And so one can understand their frustration.

“However, we are hoping everyone – the state governments, local governments and other stakeholders – will join hands to ensure that we don’t get to the position where operators shut down services in entire states because of the difficult operating environment.”

He said the commission will organise a forum where all involved parties can thrash out issues and reach a conclusion.

Explaining that principal officers of the NCC are intervening in various states, he said the minister of communication has also been “tirelessly engaging the National Economic Council to review and update its resolution of 2013 on the need to harmonise taxes and charges across the country”.