Proposed Increase Of Advert, Promo Fees Reflect Current Realities – NCC

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has given a rationale for the proposed increment in the advertisement and promotion being run on telecommunication platforms, saying it is to reflect current realities in society.

Addressing journalists at the end of the three-day public inquiry on five regulatory instruments at the commission’s headquarters today (August 11, 2022), the executive commissioner, stakeholders’ management, NCC, Adeleke Adewolu, clarified that the increment should not be misunderstood as double taxation of mobile network operators (MNOs) but to reflect the current trends in the industry.

“It is not in the form of a tax. These are fees for the administration of an application process whereby licences have to apply to us. I am sure you know this in the interest of consumers to ensure that where advertisements or promotions are being run on telecommunication platforms, they are done with responsibility, with existing laws and to ensure that the interest of consumers is protected.

“If you look at the rates for advertisements and promotions, these rates were set many years ago. They do not reflect the reality of today’s time and what we are already doing is bringing them in line with current trends in the country and industry. So, Nigerian Lottery Regulatory Commission has its role to play as the regulator of the lottery. We must be aware that lotteries impact consumers because people are playing with their money.

“The NRLC has granted a role in ensuring that the interest of people participating in lotteries are protected and their fees at a charge are to carry out their obligations under the act. The NCC has a clear mandate to protect consumers in running advertisements on promos on telecommunications networks. The two acts are very clear and I wouldn’t think that this amounts to multiple taxations in any way,” he explained. 

Adewolu added that the public inquiry, aimed at constantly reviewing industry guidelines and regulations, is to ensure that the interest of the consumers is adequately protected and to also ensure that operators fully understand their obligations to the provider of telecommunication services. 

He pointed out that the public inquiry is in tandem with the commission’s strategy of making sure stakeholders are carried along in all its regulatory interventions. 

The commissioner listed the five regulatory instruments reviewed during the public inquiry as type approval regulations (as amended), guidelines on short code operation in Nigeria (as amended), guidelines on technical specifications for the deployment of communications infrastructure (as amended), guidelines on advertisements and promotions (as amended) and the consumer code of practice regulations (as amended). 

Earlier in her comments during the meeting, the head, telecommunications laws and regulations and legal and regulatory services department, NCC, Ms. Helen Obi, said the draft of all the regulatory instruments has since been published on the commission’s website and comments from external stakeholders have been received and reviewed. 

She added that the commission has opened a seven-day (one week) window to receive additional comments from external stakeholders, which would ensure that the final regulatory instruments are such that will guarantee the progressive development of the industry.

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