Telecom Operators Kick Against NCC’s Data Rollover Policy

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Recently, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) directed telecommunications companies operating in the country to make it possible for their customers to rollover any unused data within seven days of the expiration of their subscriptions.

But operators in the industry have kicked against this, claiming it would badly affect their revenue and could kick them out of business if care is not taken.

Speaking on the matter, President of the Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Mr Olusola Teniola, stressed that the directive would ensure full utilisation of data purchased by telecoms consumers.

“Currently, the annual operating levy imposed on our members is 2.5 per cent, and it is based on our net revenues,” Mr Teniola said.

He said further that, “This directive may have a significant impact on the revenue because within those seven days, consumers are not being charged for a data plan, it is a loss of revenue for our members.”

According to him, his members were already battling with some policies of the government that have negatively affected their operations and adding this to them would be asking for too much from them.

One of the challenges, he said, was the issue of multiple taxations.

“We are really seeking further dialogues with the ministry of finance and the president’s office to ensure that our industry is not being targeted for taxes that are duplicated not only by the federal but state and local governments.

“Taxes should not only be applied fairly but also have to be seen to be able to intensify further investment critical for investments that government and the country require,” he said.

Another issue he said his association was holding discussions with the government is the harmonisation of the Right of Way (RoW).

According to him, RoW remains one of the major elements that would enable ATCON members to invest in broadband infrastructure.

“Our association is hopeful that we will have a decision made by the government as to the best way forward in terms of harmonisation of RoW.

He said major stakeholders are of the opinion that 30 per cent broadband penetration is not achievable in 2018 because licenses for infrastructure providers (Infracos) were not issued on time.

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