Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission is asking State governors to help protect telecommunication companies’ facilities and curb unfair taxation
UMAR Danbatta, executive vice chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, is soliciting the support of state governors to protect telecoms facilities in their states. He is doing this because of growing complaints by telecom operators in Nigeria over vandalisation of their facilities and multiple taxations from local councils and state governments.
Danbatta on Tuesday, May 17, made this known when he visited Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, urging him to help him appeal to other state governors to support telecom operators by securing their facilities.
The EVC said before he assumed duties on August 4, 2015, he used to read about the series of problems plaguing the telecom sector in general and operators in particular. He said there have been recurring cases of multiple taxations especially at state levels which operators have to bear overtime.
Danbatta noted that 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, he stated that 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. These are real issues that require pragmatic solutions if quality of services are to improve beyond where it is today. Certain agencies in some states have also threatened to shut down operators’ facilities in these states.
Sadly, he noted 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, he said.
“Your Excellency, 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, your Excellency, posterity will remember you and Nigerians will celebrate,” Danbatta said.
— May 19, 2016 @ 19:35 GMT