We’ve all been condemning and blasting our telecom operators over the past years, sometimes threatening to break our SIM cards and stuffs like that. But come to think of it, what if they all go on strike and shut down network facilities? How will you or your business cope in communication and browsing?
Telco network operators in Nigeria are now seeking a downward review, requesting the government to knock off some taxes and levies imposed on their operations. And if this isn’t met, what I explained above might happen and our smartphones will turn to gaming consoles and mp3 players.
As it stands now, network carriers under the umbrella of the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) are lamenting that they pay 38 ridiculous taxes and levies of government and its agencies which comes majorly from regions including South South; South East and North East.
According of Chairman of the body, Engr. Gbenga Adebayo, some of the taxes slammed on them are aviation clearance, site Inspection Fee, hawking permit, building permit, building fitness, sewage fees, fumigation, sewage fees, refuse collection and disposal, capitation fee, shop rate, and so on. He pointed out an example with Taraba State, which locked up cell site during last Christmas period over frivolous taxes.
They complained that the taxes and levies criminally duplicated in different names among federal, state and local governments, leaves the operating environment so harsh, brings unattractive return on investment and is practically impossible to comply with. Still, anytime the payment is delayed, they immediately close down the telcos critical operating facilities, instead of using proper dialogue channels to settle things.
Mr Adebayo also stressed that the shutting down of sites affect the quality of network service provided. Now, Telcos are threatening that they won’t re-open any site arbitrarily closed by states and agencies of government over non-payment of some taxes and levies, and Nigeria may have the 2019 general elections without telecommunication.
“Now, we are approaching an election year, if these things continue, the country should expect telecom blackout because we are not going to open any site closed down arbitrarily by any state or agency under the guise of non-payment of these obnoxious taxes,”-Engr. Gbenga Adebayo.
Do you think these are empty threats?