" ITREALMS: March 2012

Friday, March 30, 2012

Multiple taxation, a global issue – Juwah

L-r: Dr. Juwah, Hon Oyetunde Ojo, Itanyi@stakeholder consultative forum March 2012
The issue of multiple taxation has assumed a global dimension, according to the Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Eugene Juwah.

He said, the telecommunications industry, especially in the last 10 years, which are capable of reducing the Nigeria’s chances of harnessing communications technology so as to improve upon national development, demand for critical stakeholders’ attention.

One of the major challenges, he said, is the subject of multiple taxation, multiple regulation, deteriorating power supply, extraneous regulatory issues by other agencies of government to name a few.

Juwah who made this known at a one-day national stakeholders’ consultative forum in Lagos on “Harnessing Communications Technology as a Catalyst for National Development,” in address made available to ITRealms Online, also declared that multiple taxation, has taken a new dimension across the Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) sector globally.

He noted that just recently ended Mobile World Congress in Spain saw that happening with the Secretary-General of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), Dr. Hamadoun Toure calling on governments not to kill the telecommunications industry with taxes.

He pointed out that some of them are peculiar to stakeholders, precisely in Nigeria, which needed to be tackled very urgently for quick resolution.

“This informed my policy direction when I took over the leadership of the NCC,” he asserted.

He maintained that NCC as the apex regulator of telecommunications in the sector is resolved to keep to the vision of his administration on assumption of office over a year ago.

He reiterated focus on six key areas intended to bring about more fulfilling benefits to telecom users in Nigeria.

He listed some of these key areas to include consolidation of mobile services; fixed lines and broadband deployment; enhanced competitive market and choices for consumers; vigorous compliance monitoring and enforcement and national connectivity for accelerated growth as well as enhancing international relations.

Juwah emphasized that some of the aforementioned agenda of his administration have began to manifest with some steps taken recently and targeted at achieving some of the above initiatives.

He cited the instance with SIM Card registration which began on March 28, 2011 and resulted in the capturing of some 110,433,976 SIM cards.
“The data is going through processing and cleaning at the NCC,” he said, stressing that the Commission would shortly commerce verification and ensure that multiple registrations are eliminated in order to create a database integrity and credibility.

Remmy Nweke
ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

CBN’s Cashless Policy Timing is Right – Expert

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s cashless policy has been described as timely by an expert in the electronic transaction and payment industry.
Director of Payment Processing at Interswitch, Mr. Akeem Lawal said that the policy came at the right time thereby providing the proper environment for stakeholders to improve on the existing infrastructure and electronic payment expert in the country.

Also, he said, that the cash-less policy has significantly changed the infrastructure landscape nationwide.

He said in terms of infrastructure the Automated Teller Machine (ATM) remains the most popular, but what has grown is the infrastructure for mobile payment, Point-of-Sale (PoS), and internet payment as well as other forms of electronic transfers and transactions.

As said by him, these payment infrastructures have been largely accepted by Nigerians and the number of Nigerians embracing these alternative channels is growing steadily daily.

“What the cashless policy has done is enabled people to make the right investment, and it has created the right environment for people to consider these other now tested and trusted alternative payments,” he said.

Lawal recalls that Nigeria is predominantly cash based economy as almost all transactions run on cash and that has its inherent risks and inefficiencies.

According to him, there is a lot of wastage and inefficiencies in the system because of the huge amount of cash that is being used for transactions.
Therefore, Lawal noted some countries that have been able to reduce the amount of cash in circulation daily have witnessed immediate improvement in their economies because of the efficiencies they have introduced, which he said, “is the thrust of the CBN’s cashless.”

Remmy Nweke
ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

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