Nigerian operators have threatened to raise charges on calls made in regions where state governments are imposing multiple taxes on their operations.
Gbenga Adebayo, Chairman of Association of Licensed Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ALTON), said telecoms companies operating in Nigeria are no longer comfortable with the myriad of taxes being imposed upon them by different government agencies in some parts of Nigeria.
“In states where telecoms operations become increasingly difficult due to issues of multiple taxes and levies and continuous closure of sites, we will have no option than to consider introduction of new tariffs regime to reflect the high cost of that operating environment,” he said.
The ALTON chairman described as unfortunate the attitudes of the affected state governments who are acting unconcerned with the impact recent challenges have had on operations, deciding it is appropriate for them to still add to the challenges facing telecoms companies by adding more taxes and levies.
“ALTON finds the attempt by some states, ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of government to continue to employ extra-legal means to coerce our members to submit to the payment of illegal taxes, to be most unacceptable and we respectfully call on the federal government and the general public to intervene to save the ugly situation,” Adebayo said.
In Abuja, two sites belonging to MTN were closed down by officials of the Abuja Metropolitan Municipal (AMMAC) for non-payment of annual charges.
In Osogbo, the Osun state capital, the state capital Territory Development Authority sealed MTN sites for non-payment of Land Use Clearance fees.
While in Umuahia, the capital city of Abia State, five Base Transmission Station (BTS) sites belonging to Airtel Nigeria were sealed by government officials due to the company’s non-payment of 19 million Naira (US$120,634) as registration and renewal fees for the company’s towers premises.