Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has realised over N1.4 trillion in the first quarter of 2016.
The Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, disclosed this in Kano yesterday, during a courtesy visit to Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State at the Government House, Kano.
Dambatta revealed that the funds generated was part of their contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
He also said: “multiple taxation, coupled with obstruction of right of way for development in states of the federation have been identified as the major challenge militating against the growth and development of telecom service providers in the country.”
Danbatta urged Governor Ganduje to mobilise his counterparts in the 19 northern states to fashion out modalities for a downward review of the multiple taxes imposed on telecommunication companies in Nigeria.
According to him, his mission in Kano, among others is to draw the attention of the state government to the resolution of the National Economic Council (NEC) on multiple taxation, levies and charges on ICT infrastructure in Nigeria to which all state governors accented to, which calls for urgent downward review.
He disclosed that the Lagos State Government had already commenced the full implementation of the provisions of these recommendations, which has become the model which have states can adopt.
Danbatta emphasised that the resolution had ample provisions for addressing the challenges of multiple taxation and levies, including obstacles to right of way which the NCC observed that most agencies of state governments are either unaware of have failed to implement the provisions of NEC documents in their scheme of planning, implementation and service delivery.
He said about 40 million have been denied access to service delivery by operators due to their formation which has made it difficult for service providers to deliver excellent and efficient services to their numerous subscribers.
Danbatta noted that the realisation of these objectives will depend largely on the level of support and partnership that we are able to establish with critical stakeholders, like state governors in achieving the set objectives.
Also, the NCC boss said the issue of achieving broadband penetration target and associated benefits is of mutual benefits and importance to the telecom regulator, to the federal government, the citizens and particularly state governments, which would enhance their sources of revenue in various ways other than taxes and charges that are capable of driving away investments.
The executive vice chairman stressed that Nigeria has one of the fastest growing communication sectors in the world.
“Apart from providing home for the Zonal office of the commission for the entire northern part of the country in the last two decades, Kano is also host to one of the three major campuses of the Digital Bridge Institute (DBI), a human capacity building institute established by the NCC in 2005.
“Today, more than 78 million people in Nigeria have access to the Internet. And we are all witnesses to the level of growth of the use and application of the social media and Internet-related products and services,” Danbatta said.