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Monday, November 18, 2019

ALTON’s eight-point demands to Pantami - ITREALMS

The Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) has made an eight-point demand from the Miniser of Communications & Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami, if he really wants to reposition the sector for digital economy, reports ITREALMS.

Delivering his speech during a recent working visit to the Minister, chairman of ALTON, Engr. Gbenga Adebayo, said the demands have become imperative if the country and the ministry precisely must deliver on its mandates.

First on ALTON demands, ITREALMS exclusively gathered was that the Minister should develop a Digital Economy Strategy in consultation with the National Economic Council and pledged ALTON’s willingliness to partner with the Minister in this regard.

The number two item proposed by ALTON was the efficacy of critical national information infrastructure, urging the Minister to facilitate the issuance of an Executive Order (EO) to designate telecom network infrastructure as Critical National Information Infrastructure in the national interest.

On the frameworks recently developed by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), ALTON demanded that Pantami directs NITDA to withdraw the framework in the overall interest of the industry and consequently direct the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to develop a framework for Public Internet Access which would promote the use of data services in public places.

An instance, ALTON revealed during the visit was the Registration of Data Centre Facilities by NITDA, requesting Minister to direct NITDA to exempt licensed telecommunications operators from the registration requirement for Data Centres.

Also on the ALTON eight-point demands was the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation 2019, which the group beckoned on the Minister to direct NITDA to collaborate with NCC to issue additional guidelines on securing consent for the telecommunications industry.

They pointed out that given the volume of subscribers in the telecommunications industry and the highlighted challenge with procuring consent, “we request for a compliance transition period of 1 year before full enforcement.”

In addition, the group called Pantami’s attention to the refusal of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) to grant build permit foriInfrastructure roll-out in FCT, requesting the Minister to have discussion with the management of FCDA on how to expand the infrastructure build in the FCT for better quality of service.

On the Amended Taxes & Levies Order of 2015, ALTON demanded respectfully from Minister Pantami to engage his counterpart in Finance towards a review of the Amended Taxes and Levies Order 2015, which is not business friendly and negates the Federal Government’s Ease of Doing Business agenda.

While comparing Over-The-Top (OTT) and Mobile Network Operations, ALTON said that the introduction of data price floor to ensure that telcos price data profitably irrespective of activities carried out by data subscribers.

He advised that OTT players to enter into agreement with telcos for revenue-sharing formula or payment of a kind of interconnect fee to telcos.

Chuks Egbuna/Editor


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