NCC seeks end to unfriendly taxes, clamps down on unregistered phone distributors

NCCIF the efforts geared towards deepening broadband penetration in Nigeria must be fruitful, there would be need for government and its agencies to support the course by making taxes on the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) more flexible.

The Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Tony Ojobo, who made this call at the recently held International Telecoms Union (ITU) Telecom World conference held in Budapest, Hungary, added, “unfriendly tax system actually usually a disincentive to investment and so, if you have a friendly tax regime especially for investment, there will be actually no anxiety for investors and it will go a long way in creating jobs and also growing businesses.”

Ojobo, who explained that the commission has been working assiduously with various stakeholders in the country to make them understand the negative implications on Foreign Direct Investment (FDIs) into the nation’s telecoms sector said “this is the direction we want the country to toe going forward.”

Meanwhile, the commission has clamped down on seven major importers of unapproved phones and accessories in the country, which are based in Kano State.

The NCC Director said to encourage telecommunications investors into Nigeria to invest in our broadband sector, there was need for various stakeholders in the country to join the NCC’s efforts in creating a much friendlier and more conducive environment for telecoms business.

He also said by encouraging more investment into the country, Nigeria stands the chance of getting improved quality of services on their mobile networks and from licensed Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

Meanwhile, Ojobo, who noted that challenges confronting telecoms sector in most developing countries are peculiar, said emerging challenges are power, vandalism and multiple taxation, among others.

“Some governments at some level are looking at telecoms as ‘cash-cow’ that they tried to milk as much as possible. You find out that  in developed countries, it is not so because telecoms is now an enabler, which continues to impact existing sectors and creating new ones such as e-commerce in the economy. So, I think there is need for a bit of understanding and government also needs to know it,” he said.

On the Kano clamp down, the commission said the unregistered firms were raided for being marketers of unregistered mobile phones.

The commission’s raid also included a phone shop on Beruit Road, Kano over complaints of selling unapproved products to the public. The NCC Head of Enforcement in Kano, Salisu Abdu, said that a major competitor filed a complaint on the marketing of one of the unapproved handsets by the dealer on Beirut Road.

“Based on our investigations, it was established that Rokea Merchant Group are dealing in non-type approved handsets, which ought to have been registered by NCC but it failed to comply, following a complaint by a competitor, who also deals in same products,” he said.

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