The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, has emphasized the importance of fair taxation policies that do not impede innovation or impose undue burdens on telecom consumers.
Speaking at the 18th edition of the Abuja International Trade Fair, during the NCC Special Day with the theme ‘Sustainable Financing and Taxation,’ Danbatta underscored the need to strike a delicate balance between revenue generation and fostering industry growth.
Danbatta highlighted the telecommunications sector’s pivotal role in driving economic growth, encouraging innovation, and enhancing citizens’ quality of life globally. He asserted that the NCC, as the sector’s regulator, bears the responsibility of ensuring its sustainability and vitality.
“We acknowledge the intricacies of tax policies but emphasize the importance of creating an environment where telecommunications companies can thrive,” Danbatta stated.
To address these challenges, the NCC continuously engages with both federal and state governments, advocating for harmonized taxation policies in the telecommunications sector. Recognizing the sector’s significance in advancing the Federal Government’s digital economy agenda, Danbatta noted that it provides essential digital support to the economy through technology.
As of August 2023, Danbatta reported that active mobile subscriptions in the country had reached 220,715,961 million, with a teledensity of 115.63 percent during the same period. Additionally, active Internet subscribers numbered 159,034,717 million, with broadband penetration at 45.57 percent.
Danbatta emphasized that the competitiveness of Nigerian businesses depends on their ability to leverage new technologies and acquire the necessary digital skills for international business operations.
“The steady growth of the telecoms sector over the years, with its widespread positive impact on all other sectors of the economy, such as increased process automation and digital transformation in service delivery, has been remarkable. However, this wouldn’t have been possible without you, telecoms consumers who use these services daily,” he added.
Danbatta further highlighted the NCC’s efforts in deploying Fifth Generation (5G) networks in Nigeria, revealing that 5G spectrum licenses had already been issued to companies for rollout. He explained that 5G networks would bring substantial improvements, including higher connection speeds, enhanced mobility, increased capacity, and low-latency capabilities to communication services in Nigeria.
Earlier in the event, Mallam Alkasim Umar, the Director of Consumer Affairs Bureau at the NCC, stressed the timeliness and relevance of the theme, “Sustainable Financing and Taxation,” as the country navigates the challenges of economic sustainability and a conducive business environment. He emphasized the importance of addressing sustainable financing and taxation issues as the industry continues to evolve to ensure its long-term viability.