Industry players have projected that Nigeria would lose another 25 per cent of licensed operators if the Communication Service Tax bill is passed into law.
Already, the country has lost 57 per cent of licensed operators to multiple taxations.
The National Chairman of Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria, Mr. Gbenga Adebayo, said on Thursday that despite the growth already recorded in the industry, telecoms operators continued to face challenges emanating from recurring taxations and the regulatory environment.
“However, today, that figure has come down drastically, as we now have just about 15 licensees still operating and this tells you that something is not going well.”
A top employee in one of the four major telecoms firms said that findings from a study conducted by the regulatory department of his company showed that no fewer than 25 per cent of the existing licensed operators would cease operating in the country one year after the CST bill is passed.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, he added, “Should this happen, then the Federal Government should be prepared for the worse, as so many Nigerians will be rendered jobless. It will be too bad for the telecoms sector that is currently seen as one of the highest employers of labour.”
The ALTON chairman said that the loss of about 20 operators, representing about 57 per cent, within a space of three years “has been traced partly to the problem of regulatory environment, where there are multiple regulations and imposition of all kinds of taxes on the operators from the federal, state and local levels.”
He said, “The fact that, as operators, we are still confronted with wilful and non-wilful damage, arising from insecurity in the past years, multiple taxation, especially the Right of Way charges and attendant problem of indiscriminate shutdown of telecoms infrastructure, among others, suggests that regulations in the industry remain unfriendly with varying degrees at different levels of government.”
He said that the RoW in most states remained exorbitant as government agencies, especially at the state and local levels, continued to perceive telecoms as ‘cash-cow.’
“It is only in Lagos now that we have been able to achieve better understanding from the government. For instance, Lagos State Government, having realised the great impact pervasive deployment of telecoms infrastructure and unhindered access could have on the state’s Gross Domestic Product, three years ago, crashed RoW tax to N500 per metre.”
“Conversely, in states such as Osun and other states, operators are charged N8, 000 per metre covered while laying their fibre optic cables in addition to other laughable charges on the operators. These are some of the things that we face as operators and it is telling on our sustainability as a business with the smaller operators being the most susceptible, thereby leading to their collapse,” he said.
University Of Ibadan (UI) Goes Digital, Releases Timetable for Virtual Academic Session
University of Ibadan (UI) on Friday announced it is going ahead with resumption on February 20 despite the second wave of COVID-19.
In a statement released by the school, the First Semester of the 2020/2021 academic session will commence virtually on February 20, 2021.
The virtual academic session will last for 13 straight weeks and end on Friday May 12, 2021, while the matriculation ceremony will hold on Tuesday March 16, 2021.
The University of Ibadan also scheduled one week for the Finalization of Continuous Assessment, to begin from Mon. 17 May and ends Friday 21 May.
The rising number of COVID-19 cases has compelled the Senate to approve the virtual academic session in an effort to ensure the tertiary institution abides by the protocols established by the Federal Government to curb the spread of the pandemic.
“It, therefore, agreed that the 2020/2021 First Semester lectures will be delivered online. In this regard, students will not be accommodated on campus,” a statement from the school said.
“Senate also approved the cancellation of the 2019/2020 session. The next session is, therefore, renamed 2020/2021 Academic Session. Consequently, students who have been admitted for the 2019/2020 session will now be regarded as the 2020/2021 intakes.
“Kindly note that online opening of Registration Portal and Orientation Programme for the 2020/2021 intakes may commence ahead of the Sat 20/02/21 date indicated above,” the statement said.
House of Representatives Impeached Trump Over Capitol Invasion
The United States House of Representatives on Wednesday impeached President Trump for the second time after instigating the US Capitol invasion.
Led by Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, 232 representatives, including 10 Republicans, voted to impeach the outgoing president against 197 that voted for him to remain in the office for the next six days when he would handover to the president-elect, Joe Biden.
The ten Republicans were Representatives Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the party’s No. 3 leader in the House; Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington; John Katko of New York; Adam Kinzinger of Illinois; Fred Upton of Michigan; Dan Newhouse of Washington; Peter Meijer of Michigan; Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio; David Valadao of California; and Tom Rice of South Carolina.
Speaking before the vote, Pelosi said “a constitutional remedy that will ensure that the Republic will be safe from this man who is so resolutely determined to tear down the things that we hold dear and that hold us together.”
“He must go. He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love,” she said, adding later, “It gives me no pleasure to say this — it breaks my heart.”
Republicans, who unanimously stood behind president Trump in 2019 during his first impeachment, were divided this time over the attack on Capitol.
A Republican representative from California, Kevin McCarthy, said “The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters,” Mr. McCarthy said. “He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding.”
US Congress Declares Joe Biden as The 46th President of The United States After Trump Mob Left
The joint congress of the United States on Thursday, January 7, 2021 certified Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States following President Trump’s mob action that disrupted the congress joint proceeding on Wednesday.
After ordering his followers to disrupt proceedings on Wednesday, President Trump later announced that there will be an orderly transition on January 20.
“Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th,” Trump said in a statement issued by White House Deputy Chief of Staff Dan Scavino.
“I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!” Trump added.
While the certification was just a mere formality as Biden had secured enough electoral college votes (270) required to clinch the world’s most powerful seat, the refusal of Donald Trump to accept the results of the November 2020 election made the session a keenly watched, especially after Trump mob disrupted a joint session of the Senate.
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