- NCC: VAS Operators to Enjoy Forex
Value Added Services (VAS) operators and aggregators have now been incorporated among eligible telecom service stakeholders to enjoy access to foreign exchange (forex) for their operations, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), said yesterday.
Its Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta said the development was in “recognition of the fact that these categories of operators also engage in intangible telecom transactions/services, which also require foreign exchange to settle”.
He spoke while declaring open a Stakeholders’ Forum on the Framework for Confirmation of Reasonableness of Service (CRS) Requests at the Commission’s Headquarters in Abuja.
Prof Danbatta told the gathering among whom were representatives of banks, telecom service providers, local and foreign vendors that the forum was organised in line with the tradition of NCC on participatory regulation and consultation with stakeholders on critical matters relating to the industry.
Represented by Head of Competitive Tariff, Bashiru Idris, the EVC said it was imperative that the revised rules and procedures for processing CRS applications are tabled before the forum to facilitate robust contributions and input from the stakeholders.
He said: “Since 2003, the commission has continued to perform the confirmation reasonableness of service fee function for intangible telecommunications transactions/services billed in foreign exchange by oversea vendors/partners of relevant Nigerian telecom operators as requested by the CBN (Central Bank of Nigeria) and this function has increasingly become important to the commission considering the direct impact these intangible transaction/services have on the Nigerian telecom industry.
“In performing its role in this regard, the commission has observed instances of over quoted invoices , double submissions, untenured contract as well as demand notices not backed by required valid contract agreements among others, which often result in raising queries or outright decline of the affected invoices.
“You may recall that stakeholder Fora on CRS were held in 2003, 2009 and 2013 respectively where subsisting CRS procedures were developed and updated in order to guide the industry on the payment for invisible trade transactions.
“However the process has increasingly become more technical involving arithmetic accuracy checks, price verifications, document checks, international pricing database maintenance, vetting contract agreement amongst other things.
“These issues coupled with the changes in terms of increased volume of activities which also resulted in increased demands for associated contents, transmission and software required to drive these changes overtime has necessitated further review of the procedure and guidelines for processing CSR requests.”