The Nigerian Communications Commission has attributed the problem of poor quality of telecommunication services to multiple taxation and regulations by governments at all levels.
Speaking at the commission’s special day at the 25th Enugu International Trade Fair on Saturday, its Executive Vice Chairman, Dr Eugene Juwah, expressed regrets that some state governments had restricted the spread of critical telecommunications infrastructures.
Juwah, who was represented by the commission’s Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, Dr Okechukwu Itanyi, appealed to state governments to create an enabling environments to encourage service providers in the interest of their citizens.
Juwah said that telecommunications had contributed 8.5 per cent to Nigeria’s gross domestic product.
He said Nigeria had maintained the lead in Africa as the fastest growing telecommunications market for five consecutive years, hence the contribution to the GDP.
He said the commission had as of January recorded more than 127 million active lines from less than 400,000 in 2001 and earned a teledensity of more than 91 per cent.
The vice chairman emphasised the commitment of the commission to providing affordable and pervasive telecommunication services to the citizens.
“We have been confronted with the issue of multiple taxation and multiple regulations at the various strata of the government.
“This has contributed its own challenge to the quality of service as the spread of these critical infrastructures are restricted on account of some of these actions.
“Some state governments are beginning to see the benefits of having pervasive telecommunication infrastructures in their domain and are now very cooperative to focus less on taxation.
“We urge other states and local governments that have not joined to do so,” Juwah said.
In a speech, Dr Ifeanyi Okoye, the President of Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, urged NCC to regulate telecommunication operators to protect their vulnerable customers.
“There is no doubt that a high level of positive change has taken place in this sector of our economy which has equally accelerated socio-economic development of our nation,” he said.