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We are Burdened by Taxes, Telecoms Lament

From Adedeji Adeyemi Fakorede, Lagos



Telecoms operators in Nigeria who had been gnashing their teeth over the endless number of taxes, levies and unimaginable payments that are very hard to explain across the states, have made a passionate appeal for either a downward review or scrapping of some government taxes to safe their operations.

In a recent conference call interview, the chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Engineer Gbenga Adebayo said his members now pay 38 different taxes and levies of government and its agencies.

While describing the scenario as official abuse of government income windows, gave an example of Taraba State, which recently locked up cell site during last Christmas period over frivolous taxes.

According to him, “Some of the imposed taxes, include aviation clearance, site Inspection Fee, hawking permit, building permit, building fitness, sewage fees, fumigation, sewage fees, refuse collection and disposal, capitation fee, shop rate, among others”.

“It is very important to note that all these imposed taxes would prevent further investments and limit operators’ expansion drive”.

He said due to fear of ‘hard-to-comprehend’ categories of taxation being randomly slammed on telecoms by the federal, states, local governments and in some cases communities, there had been rising drop in investment and network upgrade.

In his further submission, Adebayo averred that such fears and the associated apprehensions force networks’ to slow down network investments which result in poor quality of service from time to time.

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