The Federal Government of Nigeria revealed recently that it had decided to reduce taxes of telecommunications operators so that they would be able to expand their services to the hinterland and improve their quality.
Making this known in Lagos during the 2017 Information Communications Technology and Telecommunication Expo organized by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the minister for Communications Adebayo Shittu said that the expansion of telecom services to the hinterland would ensure that more people have access to their services.
According to him, the National Economic Council had approved a policy to harmonise Right of Way (RoW) charges payable by telecommunications companies on local, state and federal highways.
He said, “The policy, when it comes to fruition, will minimise the spaces occupied, burden on the roads and reduce taxes payable by the telecom operators. As such, with the RoW challenges gone, operators can invest in last mile infrastructure, especially fibre, that will boost services.”
In order to ensure smooth implementation of the RoW project, the minister noted that the ministry would liaise with states and relevant stakeholders.
Shittu gave the assurance that the ministry would continue to support the establishment of companies in the areas of hardware and software development by coming out with regulations and other means that would create enabling environment for their operation and protection.
“We will assist them to grow. We have accepted that Nigeria must take the leadership role in Africa’s Information and Communications Technology ecosystem. We are amenable to Public-Private Partnership relationships to drive the ministry’s projects. We, therefore, assert that 2017 must be a year of action,” Shittu noted.
In her comment, The President, LCCI, Dr. Nike Akande, stated that the best time to harness the benefits of ICT is no other time but now when the economy is in dire need of diversification.
She added that: “Today, virtually all sectors leverage ICT for optimal performance. This is evident in the financial services sector, where electronic banking is now the vogue.”