Sheriff Balogun in Abeokuta
The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta has raised the alarm that multiple taxes on telecommunication infrastructure
by the various tiers of government was a major impediment to the growth of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector.
Danbatta, who spoke in Abeokuta during a courtesy visit to Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun said the issue is a major threat to the wellbeing of the ICT sector, saying something urgent should be done to address the problem.
He said: “We have our worries about the continuous growth of the sector. There have been recurring cases of multiple taxation, which threatens the operators and by extension telecommunication services.
“Various tiers of government, including local councils and state government agencies have created enormous challenges to the sector and some of the agencies often threaten to shut down base transceivers stations over alleged refusal of the Telecoms’ companies to comply with a tax regime which the operators see as grossly excessive.”
He also noted that activities of vandals and thieves are disrupting operations of the telecom companies and urged authorities concerned to come to the rescue of the industry.
Responding, Amosun underscored the need to explore Information and Communication Technology to generate employment opportunities for the teeming youths in the society.
He said ICT was a veritable tool to be harnessed and tapped into towards providing job opportunities for the youth.
He added: “If we must get it right, we must begin to work smart.” According to the governor, one of the ways to work smart is to embrace ICT initiatives and the opportunities it offers, just as he pledged that his administration would continue to do its bit in creating enabling environment for all businesses in the state to thrive.
He also lauded the NCC for its role in opening telecoms space to Nigerians, promising that governments will look into their challenges.