The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is calling on states and local government councils nationwide to reconsider the taxes imposed on telecom companies, warning that excessive taxation could hinder the growth of the industry.
In the 2024-2026 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper, the Federal Government proposed a five per cent excise duty on telecommunication services to enhance its revenue base.
Expressing concern, Aminu Wada Maida, the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, lamented that telecom operators already face taxes ranging from 50 to 55 per cent, making it challenging to attract foreign investments into the sector as directed by President Bola Tinubu.
Maida announced plans for a nationwide advocacy campaign to persuade states, local governments, and other stakeholders to reduce levies, particularly Right of Way charges and multiple taxes, imposed on operators.
During an interactive session with journalists in Abuja, Maida stressed the negative impact of high taxation on potential foreign investments, highlighting the need for a conducive environment to foster growth.
He urged states to consider the long-term benefits of welcoming significant investments in the sector, emphasizing the potential job creation and additional value chains.
Addressing the dispute between telecom giants MTN Nigeria and Globacom Network, Maida assured that the commission was committed to ensuring a level playing field for all stakeholders and that a resolution would be reached soon.
The NCC has outlined a strategic vision based on five pillars to drive the telecom industry and sustain its contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Acknowledging challenges related to the quality of services from Mobile Network Operators and Internet Service Providers, Maida emphasized the importance of a comprehensive consumer experience approach to address these issues.
He advised consumers facing data depletion concerns to consider factors such as handset compatibility, available services, and cost implications, emphasizing the importance of transparency and consumer support throughout the entire user journey.
Maida stressed the significance of delivering a holistic consumer experience, encompassing aspects from network selection and registration processes to tariff transparency and customer support, to meet the expectations of stakeholders and enhance overall service quality.