Danbatta Seeks Harmonised Tax Regime For Telecom Sector

Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta

By Bukola Kayode

 The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, has advocated for a fair tax regime for players in the telecom sector.

Danbatta spoke at the NCC Day at the 18th Abuja International Trade Fair.

He disclosed that the Commission as regulator realised the need to liaise with the Federal Government and states to ensure that the telecom sector player while operating within the laws of the country are not unfairly taxed and driven out of business.

He described this year’s Trade Fair theme – ‘Sustainable Financing and Taxation’ as apt and timely, especially considering the pivotal role the telecommunications industry plays in driving economic growth, fostering innovation, and enhancing the quality of life for citizens across the globe.

He said: “Information Communications Technology (ICT) is not only one of the fastest growing industries – directly creating millions of jobs – but it is also an important enabler of innovation and development, as it provides the backbone infrastructure for transactional business and taxation for Government. However, maintaining this digital infrastructure and its continued growth necessitates substantial investment.

“Sustainable financing in telecommunication involves sourcing the necessary capital to build and maintain robust telecommunications networks. As regulators, we understand that this financing should be stable, accessible and conducive for industry growth. Taxation while essential for funding of Government initiatives must strike a delicate balance between revenue generation and industry growth”.

“Our role as regulator, is to advocate for fair taxation practices that do not stifle innovation or place undue burden on consumers. We acknowledge the intricacies of tax policies but emphasize the importance of creating an environment where telecommunications companies can thrive. To address these challenges the Commission continuously engage both the Federal and State Government on the need to harmonize taxation in the telecommunications sector”, he added.

Also speaking at the event, director, of the Consumer Affairs Bureau (CAB), Nigerian Communications Commission, Alkasim Umar, enumerated the programmes through which the Commission had promoted customer satisfaction and protection.

He reiterated NCC’s “commitment to ensuring fair competition and a level-playing field for all stakeholders in the telecommunication industry, particularly in safeguarding the interest of consumers from abuse of their rights and privilege, and against unfair practices in the telecom service value chain”.

He listed among other implemented policies, Consumer Education Outreach Programmes including the Telecom Consumer Parliament (TCP), Telecom Town Halls on Radio, to Consumer Complaints Management (CCM), namely: NCC Toll-Free 622 Contact Centre which is available between 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. daily except on Sundays and Public holidays and Development of the Do-Not-Disturb (DND) 2442 Short Code.

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