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Nigeria Government Suspend Proposed Telecommunications Tax

Federal Government has suspended its proposed excise duty on telecommunication services

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The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami announced that the Federal Government has suspended its proposed excise duty on telecommunication services.

He made the declaration on Monday during the inaugural meeting of the Presidential Committee on Excise Duty For Digital Economy.

It will be recalled that Investors King had reported in August that the Communication Minister kicked against the Federal Government proposal to impose a 5% tax on call, text, and broadband used by Nigerians 

The minister lamented that the telecommunication sector is already overwhelmed by excessive and multiple taxation. He insisted that the proposed 5% tax on call, text, and broadband will increase the cost of telecommunications services. 

The minister, who spoke at the maiden edition of the Nigerian Telecommunications indigenous Content Expo, NTICE, in Lagos, said the sector, which was already drawing in massive interest, creating jobs, and enlarging huge revenue to the GDP, should not be inconvenienced with such taxes.

He said: “The 5 percent excise duty will overburden the industry. As a Minister, I was neither consulted nor obtained a memo to that effect. Even the appropriate lawmakers that were supposed to be talked with have also told me they were not.

”Things are not done that way. Besides condemning the tax, we will take every lawful step to guarantee that the tax does not stand.”

At the inaugural meeting today, Pantami said he personally rejected the policy and advised President Muhammadu Buhari against it given the effects it would have on the digital economy. 

According to him, the introduction of excise duty in the telecommunication and information and communications technology industry would jeopardise the successes already recorded within the industry.

However, the suspension of the 5% telecommunications tax will have a significant effect on federal government revenue. The telecommunication tax which was captured in the finance act was to generate about N160.46 billion for the federal government in 2023.

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MTN Partners With Ericsson on 5G Internet Connection

The largest Telecommunication company in Africa, MTN has partnered with Ericsson for its 5G network in Nigeria. 

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MTN Nigeria has partnered with a world-renowned telecommunications hardware, software and service provider, Ericsson to launch 5G technology and Radio Access Network in Nigeria. 

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MTN Nigeria, Karl Toriola said that MTN will combine the strength it used to expand its 2G, 3G and 4G networks to expand its 5G network across the country in the coming months. 

Toriola also recognised the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Pantami for his role and leadership in his capacity as minister which has been beneficial to the telecommunication industry.

It will be recalled that in December 2021, MTN and Mafab Communications Limited won the bid for the 5G spectrum auctioned by the Nigerian Communications Commission at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja.

The partnership with Ericsson will help MTN to provide revolutionised 5G network services to its numerous customers in Nigeria. The 5G network will be critical in unlocking the potential of the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Virtual Reality for millions of users in Nigeria. 

Hossam Kandeel, Vice President of Ericsson Middle East and Africa was quoted to have said ” We (Ericsson) are proud to be a part of Nigeria’s 5G digital transformation that has only just begun.

“With connectivity being the backbone of digitization, we are committed to delivering the best service to our partners at MTN Nigeria to support them in this thrilling journey.”

On his part, MTN Chief Technical Officer (CTO), Mr Muhammed Rufai who also witnessed the event said “5G will revolutionise the way we live and communicate across industries. With the speed 5G offers, we will be able to experience the Internet with low latency, which means no lag, making our virtual interactions more real.

“At MTN, we will continue to pursue the rollout of 5G technology to revolutionise Internet access across the continent.” 

 

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NCC Projects N500 Billion Revenue From 5G Spectrums License

The Nigerian communication commission (NCC) has revealed plans to generate N500 billion in revenue from the auctioning of the 5G spectrums in 2023.

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The Nigerian communication commission (NCC) has revealed plans to generate N500 billion in revenue from the auctioning of the 5G spectrums in 2023.

This disclosure was made by the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, who spoke in an interactive meeting on the 2023-2025 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF-FSP), organized by the Senate Committee on Finance.

He stated that the projected revenue would be realized from the auctioning of two 5G spectrums, adding that the commission had already begun the bidding process for auctioning of the spectrums.

Prof. Danbatta disclosed that in the first quarter of 2022, the commission generated N257 billion while it remitted N195 billion to the government coffers.

The NCC boss added that from April to August, N318 billion was generated while N214 billion was remitted. He revealed that the funds raised by the commission were occasioned by the auctioning of two 5G spectrums at the rates of $263 million and $273 million.

He said “The NCC from 2017 to 2021 had generated N799bn and remitted N423bn to the government.

“The target was to hit 75 percent penetration in 2025. Hopefully, we will achieve 50 percent penetration by end of 2022.”

Prof. Danbatta further advised Nigerians not to hesitate to make use of the 112 emergency national numbers in case of any emergency incident, such as fire outbreaks, or accidents, among others, and a toll-free number, 622, to lodge complaints on issues relating to drop calls.

Prof. Danbatta last year disclosed the readiness of the commission to deploy its mandate to boost the nation’s economy and ensure national development from the 5G spectrum, adding that the commission will launch a book to provide more insight into the workings of NCC under his watch.

The Chairman of the Committee, Senator Olamilekan Adeola, added that the Senate would continue to encourage NCC to improve its revenue generation profile to the Federal Government.

He further stated that the expected NCC revenue in 2023 would help reduce the deficit proposed in the 2023 budget.

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Airtel Overtakes MTN Nigeria in Internet Speed in Q2 2022

Airtel Nigeria has reportedly surpassed MTN Nigeria in Internet speed in the second quarter (Q2) of 2022

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Airtel Nigeria has reportedly surpassed MTN Nigeria in Internet speed in the second quarter (Q2) of 2022.

Data from speedtest intelligence after analyzing the internet speed of four mobile service providers across 10 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, revealed that Airtel Nigeria delivered faster median download and upload speeds in Nigeria in the second quarter.

After the Internet speed test analysis was carried out in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Africa came top as the country with the best internet speed as a result of the deployment of the 5G technology by different operators in the country.

In the country, Johannesburg led the pack of cities with the fastest internet speed, having a median download speed of 66.54 Mbps, followed by Cape Town at 49.22 Mbps download speed.

The four telecommunications operators singled out for the tests were —MTN, Airtel, Vodacom, and Orange which commanded a combined majority of 62% of total subscriptions in sub-Saharan Africa. While the selected 10 countries accounted for 59% of the region’s connections.

In a head-to-head performance between Airtel and MTN across the three countries they operate in, Airtel surpassed MTN in Nigeria, both in terms of median download and upload speed in Q2 2022, while in Uganda and Rwanda there were no winners.

In terms of users, in Q2 2022, MTN Nigeria commanded 38.9% of Nigeria’s mobile users with its 74.1 million subscribers almost double that of Airtel’s 46.0 million.

Yet, when it comes to mobile performance, Airtel Nigeria was ahead of MTN. Airtel Nigeria in 2021, was rated the fastest network in the telecom broadband category.

In the second quarter of this year, the telecommunications company recorded a median download speed of 30.35 Mbps and a median upload speed of 10.28 Mbps, both of which topped those of MTN (26.30 Mbps download and 9.13 Mbps upload).

Those speeds are set to increase as both companies have invested heavily into network infrastructure, with a combined investment of N208.5 billion ($502 million).

The investment translates into an increase in 4G Availability as well. In Q2 2022, MTN had 83.8% 4G Availability compared to Airtel’s 77.9%.

It should be recalled that Investors King had recently reported that MTN launched its 5G technology in Nigeria, as it promises to change communication forever.

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