From Adanna Nnamani, Abuja
While Nigerians are still grappling with 7.5 per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) and the recently proposed 5 per cent excise duty on telecoms services, the Federal Government has again, introduced registration fees on type approved telecommunication devices and short codeshare.
The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, disclosed this during a 3-day consecutive Public Inqury on some draft Telecom Regulations and Guidelines, where he said the review became necessary due to current realities in the industry.
“It is important at this juncture to state that all (5) five regulatory instruments are existing instruments which are being amended to reflect current realities.”
While the the introduction of fees on type approved devices and short codes was made known in a presentation by the Principal Manager, Technical Standards and Networks Intergrity, Department, Nwanze Onyeye, during a presentation said,
“What the Commission is introducing that was not there before is payment for type-approved telecom devices and short codes which used to be free.”
Danbatta said the regulatory instruments being reviewed cut across all sectors/segments of the telecommunications industry.
“The first instrument, the Type Approval Regulations, provide a framework for the approval of communications equipment for connection to communications networks in Nigeria, pursuant to sections 130 to 134 of the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003.”
“The second instrument, Guidelines on Short Code Operation in Nigeria, is intended to prescribe a standard of practice for providers of short code services and to provide a revised framework for the provision of these services and for the protection against misuse.
“The third instrument, being the Guidelines on Technical Specifications for the Deployment of Communications Infrastructure, provides standards to be adhered to by Communications services providers/operators, designers, fabricators and installers of Communications towers and laying of fibre optic cables towards ensuring environmental safety and sound engineering practices.
“The fourth instrument, is the Guidelines on Advertisements and Promotions, which provides minimum requirements and standards for promotional advertisements by licensed telecommunications operators in Nigeria. Finally, the fifth instrument, which is the Consumer Code of Practice Regulations, amongst other things, sets rules for consumer protection and prescribes the procedures to be followed by a Licensee in preparing approved consumer codes of practice, in accordance with section 106 of the Act.
Meanwhile, in its effort to boost the nation’s revenue generation, tackle insecurity, Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) has reiterated readiness towards the implementation of digital Postcode system.
Director, Corporate Communications, NIPOST, Mr Franklin Alao, stated this in a chat with journalists recently. He emphasized that plans are in top gear, towards achieving a digital postcode system in Nigeria, and that the agency will not rest until Nigerians are positively impacted by the initiative.