The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on Thursday warned state governments and security agencies to stop arbitrary shutting down of telecommunications base stations and infrastructure. The Commission’s Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Garba Dambatta while speaking at the South West Stakeholders’ Parliament with Relevant Agencies in Charge of Telecommunications Matters with the theme: “Optimizing the Benefits of Telecoms Infrastructure In Nigeria” in Ibadan on Thursday maintained that the habit of shutting down stations would have adverse effect on development of ICT.
Rather, he said the infrastructure must be protected for efficient service delivery to the users. Represented by the Director of Legal and Regulatory Services of the Commission, Mrs. Yetunde Akinloye, he called for certainty and transparency in the mode of collecting taxes and other revenue on telecoms by the state governments. Akinloye also delivered a message of the Executive Commissioner of Communications Commission (Stakeholders’ Management), Mr. Sunday Dare, who said telecoms infrastructure are critical to the socioeconomic progress of states and the people. The executive commissioner who was guest speaker, pointed out that it was in everybody’s interest to remove any impediment to the fast deployment and their seamless operations.
He lamented that multiple taxation and regulation across several ministries agencies and departments (MDAs) remained the greatest impediment to achieving technology infrastructure objectives. According to him, multiple taxation and regulation are factors militating against technology infrastructure in Nigeria. He said it was unfortunate that multiple taxation and regulation across ministry, department and agencies had remained an impediment to infrastructural development. Dare noted that NCC’s work with various stakeholders had led to noticeable reduction in the incidences, saying the problem was still around and its impact was still strong. According to him, several communities still refuse to grant permission for the construction of Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) due to misconception of EMF radiation and environmental pollution.
On his part, the Director of Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement of NCC, Mr. Efosa Idehen said state governments can rank more Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), using telecoms. The director urged the state governments to balance the drive for Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) demand with developmental needs of the state and not to drive away investors in their jurisdictions, but encourage them.