ABUJA (Sundiata Post) – Multiple taxation especially at state levels which telecommunication operators have to bear as well as Right of Way are among numerous issues plaguing Nigeria’s telecommunications sector.
Prof. Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), who made this known while on a courtesy visit to Governor Nasir Rufai of Kaguna State, revealed that there were many issues that required pragmatic solutions if quality of services were to improve beyond where they are currently.
“There have also been cases of Right of Way (RoW) whereby operators have to deal with this at different levels – from local council to the state level.
“Besides these, there have been incessant vandalism of telecom equipment and theft of optic fibre cables in various states of the federation.
“Base stations have not been spared as many operators have had their base stations shut down by some state government agencies for one debt or the other. Certain agencies in some states have also threatened to shut down operators’ facilities in these states,” Dambatta explained.
He pointed out that despite the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the former Communications minister with the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) to address these challenges, the covenant is not respected
“We have come to enlist your support by prevailing on your brother governors to have an understanding with the situation. We do this because of our firm belief in you as a technocrat with a very good grasp of the importance of ICT in national development and how this will crystalise in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of our dear nation, Nigeria.
“If you do this for us, posterity will remember you and Nigerians will celebrate you” Dsmbatta explained.
“There has been the promotion of broadband internet connectivity so much that by the year 2018, broadband penetration would increase from its current 10 percent to 30 percent or more. The process for this has begun. Early in 2014, we licensed Bitflux Consortium for the 2.3GHz frequency.
“Few days ago, NCC began to offer commercial services. Early in 2015, it licensed two Infrastructure companies (Infracos) for Lagos and North Central. And there are five more of such licences for North West, North East, South West, South East and South South waiting to be grabbed by bidders.
“We are also in the process of concluding the auction of 2.6GHz Spectrum where 14 slots are up for auction. Once these are completed and when operators roll out services, the slow speed internet connection experiences now will be a thing of the past”, he said.