The President, Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Engineer Olusola Teniola, has identified other pain-points industry players have endured over the years.
He said that these are critical areas government must address beyond the harmonisation of Right of Way rates for broadband infrastructure deployment.
Teniola, who had expressed the Association members’ happiness over the recent moves by State Governors to harmonise the Right of Way charges to N145 per linear meter with States like Kaduna and Kwara offering RoW for free and N1 respectively, he added that with only one member of ATCON publicly announcing its CAPEX spending intentions over the next 3 years and a contracting economy and GDP, it is not yet uhuru for the players.
He further said that ICT players have worked tirelessly as the industry now contributes circa 14% in Q1.2020, so they deserve governments protection to contribute more to the economy.
In a chat with TechEconomy.ng, Engr. Teniola said that the next areas of focus beyond RoWs are:
Under Ease of doing Business:
“Government needs to conclude on the Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) Executive Order, removal of multiple (same) regulations at both the Federal and State level seeking tax deductions that overlaps or are duplicates – Create a one-stop shop for taxes (Harmonisation of taxes – Finance Ministry);
Relief on permits
“There is need for relief on permits and statutory obligations for one year especially for Community Type Networks and/or the introduction of Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO) to increase level of competition to address market gaps (according to USPF is 114)
Encourage NIPC to grant pioneer tax status to the Community Type Networks and/or Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO) and other innovations that are introduced to assist in the growth of jobs in the market with a view for more telco companies to list on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE);
Financial Package from CBN
“The industry deserves some financial package from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to generate stimulus for continued growth in the industry with a counter-part funding with MDB(s) of at least NGN250bn to develop local content in device, low-end equipment assembly or manufacturing of passive infrastructure (i.e. towers and related items)”, he explained.