- Operators: Rising Cost, Forex, Others Killing us Silently
Tier Two operators have urged the Federal Government to provide them with palliatives to cushion the effects of the increase in network operating cost in the country.
Specifically they are demanding tax holiday, intervention in sourcing forex and harmonisation of the right of way (RoW) in states and local government councils in the country.
The government has assured that the problems associated with the Tier Two (Broadband) telecom providers would be addressed in the interest of the industry,.
The Minister of Communications, Mr Adebayo Shittu, who gave the assurance at a meeting with some operators in Abuja led by the Managing Director of Smile Communcations, Mr Godfrey Efeurhobo, said the government was poised to support and create enabling environment for telecommunications industry to thrive.
Shittu who identified with the challenges the operators are facing said relevant steps would be taken to look into the problems as enumerated by the operators, stressing that Information and Communications Technology remains critical to the government efforts to diversify the nation’s economy.
A statement by one of the Minister’s Media aide, Mrs Pauline Sule, quoted Shittu as saying that the present administration has evolved some mechanism to protect the businesses of tier two telecoms operators as data is a way of life to all citizens irrespective of their public or private activities.
Shittu urged the tier two operators to partner with the Ministry in the establishment of ICT Development Bank, and to adopt a campus of the ICT University as well as ensuring the establishment of ICT Exhibition Park.
Earlier, the leader of the delegation, Godfrey Efeurhobo, Managing Director, Smile Communications, commended the minister for granting them audience to discuss critical issues affecting the growth and development of the sector with him.
He said the passion of the minister is well known in the ICT industry, stressing that the roles the minister has so far played to ensure that ICT is leveraged upon to revive the economy of Nigeria would not be forgotten by the people.
Mr Efeurhobo requested the minister to use his good office to take the lead in solving various challenges that the Telecom Companies face, especially network operating cost which has gone up to eighty percent.
He urged the Minister to put in place palliatives that would reduce the shock in their businesses as a result of the increase in network operating cost, adding that the operators would appreciate a regime of tax holiday, government intervention in sourcing of forex minister and harmonisation of RoW regarding states and local government councils.