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Thursday, January 28, 2016

ALTON to states closing sites: Enough is enough for multiple taxation



The Association of Licensed Telecom Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) has warned seven state governments over arbitrary closure of telecom sites and multiple taxation, reports ITRealms.

Speaking in Lagos, ALTON chairman, Mr. Gbenga Adebayo listed those states currently on the wrong neckside of operators to include Ogun, Ondo, Akwa Ibom, Ebonyi, Osun and Kaduna States due to arbitrary closure of telecom sites and actions of government impacting on our operations.

He also said that ALTON is very carefully considering the situation of site closure and harassment of its members in the aforementioned states.

He warned that anytime soon, ALTON members would begin to make them feel the impact of their actions on telecom operators if they do not desist from deliberate disruption of operations.
Mr. Adebayo noted that the aforementioned states are treating industry as an extractive industry and imposing myriads of taxes on our member and closing down the BTS Sites arbitrarily.

ALTON, he said, has resolved that, arbitrary sealing of sites, without following the guidelines clearly provided by the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) and in line with best practices will no longer be tolerated;

“Any State or local government authority that closes our sites: our members will not reopen such sites: we will serve the necessary warnings and if such practices continue: we are then faced with two options: first is to pay the charges by such state Government, and to increase the tariff chargeable for calls originating and terminating from networks in such states:  With all the attendant service delivery issues,” he warned.
However, where such actions on the part of government continues, ALTON said it will advise all members, after due consultation with relevant authorities, because of the security and economic implications, “to shut down the entire network in such state for one full day as a final warning to such State or Local Government area.”

ALTON said that they are very concerned about the recurring cases of telecom sites closure by government agents. 

Lamenting that they continue to record cases of arbitrary site closure in many states of the federation in an attempt to force service providers to pay local taxes and levies some of which are multiple in nature and most of which are only aimed toward telecom operators.

ALTON further called for a cross-sector cum multi-stakeholder approach to reduce growing burden of taxation on telecom industry.



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Pix: ALTON chairman, Mr. Gbenga Adebayo speaking with ALTON Executive Secretary, Mr. Gbolahun.

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