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Communications Tax: 25% of Licensed Operators to Shut Down

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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.

He said, “When I became the chairman of ALTON three years ago, there were 35 licensed telecoms companies comprising some small players, those in the fixed line, Code Division Multiple Access and Global System for Mobile communications players that were doing well, though not without challenges.

“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.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Government

Obaseki Wins Edo State With a Landslide Victory

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Governor Godwin Obaseki has now won the remaining Local Government, Ovia South-West Local Government.

Here is a break down of Ovia South-West’s final result. APC recorded 10, 636 votes while PDP amassed 12, 659.

Total valid votes stood at 23,741 with 743 votes rejected and 24,484 votes cast.

Overall, Obaseki won a total of 13 local governments out of 18, while Ize-Iyamu wins 5. See the details below.

Local Government APC  PDP 
Igueben  5,199  7,870 
Esan North-East  6,556  13,579 
Esan Central  6,719  10,794 
Ikpoba-Okha  18,218  41,030 
Uhunmwonde  5,972  10,022 
Egor  10,202  27,621 
Owan East  19,295  14,762 
Owan West  11,193  11,485 
Esan South East  9,237  10,565 
Ovia North-West  9,907  16,987 
Etsako West  26,140  17,959 
Ovia South-West 10,636 12,659
Oredo  18,365  43,498 
Esan West  7,189  17,434 
 Akoko Edo 22,963 20,101
 Etsako East 17,011 10,668
 Etsako Central  8,359 7,478
Orhionmwon 10,458 13,445

 

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Government

Obaseki Beats Ize-Iyamu in His Local Government to Extend Lead

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Godwin Obaseki Wins Ize-Iyamu Local Government to Extend Lead

Governor Godwin Obaseki has won Orhionmwon Local Government Area to extend his lead over Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressives Congress.

Pastor Ize-Iyamu, who hails from Orhionmwon, won his polling unit but failed to win the entire council area as Obaseki wins again.

Orhionmwon was one of the two remaining local governments. Therefore, it now remains one local government area, Ovia South-West, with Obaseki cruising to victory following 17 LG counts.

Obaseki now has 295,296 votes while Ize-Iyamu has 212,983.

Obaseki is no expected to win Saturday’s governorship election after amassing massive votes across each of the 17 local governments counted.

The remaining local government, Ovia South-West has 73,909 voters, below the over 80,000 lead of Godwin Obaseki.

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Obaseki, PDP Members Celebrate Potential Win in Situation Room

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Obaseki Celebrates With Other PDP Members in Situation Room

Following the strong positive support received from Edo people as shown by almost 90,000 vote gap received over Osagie Ize-Iyamu after 16 local government counts, the executive governor of Edo State, Gowin Obaseki, and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members have started celebrating a potential win ahead of the two remaining local government results.

According to the results of the 16 local governments released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Obaseki received 288,572 votes while the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, received 202,525 votes.

With just two local governments left to go, it is safe to say Obaseki has won this particular election again.

Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu contested against Governor Obaseki four years ago under the Peoples Democratic Party when Obaseki was the gubernatorial candidate of All Progressives Congress before he fell out with his godfather, Adams Oshiomhole.

If wins, Obaseki will be the first gubernatorial candidate to win two elections under the two major parties within four years and vice versa for Ize-Iyamu.

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