NCC Strengthens Telecoms Sector Through Requisite Reforms

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NCC Industry Working Group Meeting - Ibadan
L-R: The Lagos zonal controller, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Henry Ojiokpota; Assistant director, financial services, NCC, Chika Anohu; Executive commissioner, stakeholder management, NCC, Adeleke Adewolu; Head, compliance monitoring, NCC, Isa Olatinwo; Executive secretary, Association of Licensed Telecom Operators of Nigeria, Gbolahan Awonuga and Ibadan zonal controller, NCC, Dr. Olubunmi Bamijoko, during NCC’s quarterly meeting in Ibadan, Oyo State.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has reaffirmed its unwavering commitment to its regulatory role, emphasising the continuous implementation of essential reforms aimed at fortifying the communications sector in Nigeria.

The executive commissioner for stakeholder management at the NCC, Adeleke Adewolu made this declaration during his address to stakeholders at the combined second and third quarters 2023 meeting of the industry working groups (IWG) on multiple taxation and regulations within the telecoms sector.

The meeting, held in Ibadan, Oyo State on Tuesday, served as a prelude to a more extensive regional stakeholders workshop on multiple taxation and regulations scheduled to convene in the state on Wednesday.

In his address, Adewolu noted that the IWG’s activities were directed towards ensuring equitable tax policies and eradicating all instances of multiple taxation and regulations adversely affecting the Nigerian telecommunications industry.

He highlighted the substantial milestones achieved by the industry since the establishment of the IWG over two decades ago. This platform has proven highly effective in articulating industry concerns and offering solutions to these pressing issues.

“Significant progress has been made in the industry, particularly regarding multiple taxation. President Bola Ahmed Tinubu recently signed four Executive Orders aimed at curbing multiple taxation in the country,” Adewolu remarked. “One of the key measures is the Executive Order suspending the five percent Excise Duty on telecommunication services and halting the escalation of Excise Duties on other locally manufactured products.”

He commended these accomplishments as commendable, emphasising that they continue to serve as inspiring landmarks for the industry. They underscore the remarkable achievements possible when the entire industry unites to address critical concerns that undermine the economic well-being of the communications sector.

However, Adewolu also acknowledged that significant work remains to be done, particularly concerning arbitrary right of way (RoW) charges, concealed nuisance taxes, and unauthorised regulatory encroachments into the communications industry.

In response, he stated that the commission is diligently working to harmonize RoW charges across the country. Additionally, the NCC is collaborating strategically with sister agencies such as the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Nigerian Mainstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) to ensure that regulatory actions align with the commission’s objectives, fostering market development and industry sustainability.

The director of public affairs at the commission, Reuben Muoka added in a statement that Adewolu encouraged telecom licensees to continue reporting issues related to multiple taxation and regulation to the commission as they encounter them in their daily operations. He assured them of the NCC’s unwavering commitment to take necessary regulatory actions to promote industry growth.

“The commission is always inclined to execute the requisite reforms that will strengthen the communications sector and deepen market development,” Adewolu affirmed, urging all stakeholders at the IWG meeting to engage in candid and constructive discussions to highlight pressing issues requiring immediate attention.

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