By Omolabake Fasogbon
With an upward review of custom levy on telecoms equipment from five per cent to about 25%,the Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria, ATCON, has again warned of the consequences of the development which further fuel the threats confronting the $68 billion telecommunications market.
The association suggested that the National Information Development Agency (NITDA), should joined forces with other regulators in the sector to foster a talk with the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS and other relevant bodies to restore the levy back to the initial five per cent or even below.
While on a courtesy call to the agency’s headquarters in Abuja, theÂ President of ATCON, Mr. Olusola TeniolaÂ notedÂ high cost of production as well as frustration of broadband roll out as some of the negative impacts of the increased charge.
Teniola pointed out that the association acknowledged the agency’s input in arresting cyber threats making reference to its timely arrest of a newly detected virus called Wanna crypt ransomware but want it to engage stakeholders in timely and appropriate communication as regards its solutions to cyber-attack.
“We appreciate the way and manner that the agency contained it and we hope that it would keep us posted on how to stay free from contacting the ongoing cyber-related threats”, he said.Â
Â The ATCON boss further lauded the strategic move of the regulator at ensuring progress in the sector beyond its present status as it looks towards fulfilling the quota ofÂ Â 20 percent Â toÂ the nation’sÂ GDP by 2020.
Â “We are pleased by the agency’s effort on capacityÂ building to save Nigeria from depending on foreigners to develop our Information and Technology space.Â We consider this innovative and strategic and we would want NITDA to place more focus on this initiative as in time Nigeria will be exporting its locally developed capacity .Â
“Also, it is heart-warming to see that the agencyÂ is working very hard to migrate all government services to web based services.Â
This would in no doubt reduce government cost and make government services accessible and effective. There is no doubt that the emergence and liberalizationÂ of this sector has also impacted positively on revenue accruable to government , employment generation ,both direct and Indirect, foreign Direct Investment in tens of billions of dollarsâ€, Teniola stated.
Speaking on behalf of NITDA DG, its Director, e-Government Development and Regulatory Department , Dr. Usman Gambo Abdullahi, sought for harmonisation of goals and synergy in the telecommunication sector as he noted that such which was lacking , has continued to hinderÂ development in the sector.