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NCC Wades Into N165bn Interconnect Debt

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Prof Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said the commission was taking pragmatic steps in resolving the interconnect N165billion debt owed by some telecom operators

Danbatta said this when the Mr Olusola Teniola, President, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) and his team visited the NCC headquarters in Abuja.

He said because of the realization of what the debt burden can do to the industry, NCC has arranged a very important meeting of all the telecommunication companies.

“ We mediated on what the acts and powers of what the commission can do in terms of crisis like this, as there is a debt crisis in the industry.

“But it is being managed very well. We all agreed yesterday that pragmatic ways must be found to settle the debts a deadline had been given, mid July for the payment plan.

“That is pragmatic, it is been worked out in order to ensure that those who owe start paying and those who are being owed start receiving what is being owed to them,’’ he said.

The EVC also said the commission made a presentation to the National Economic Council (NEC) where the members of the Governors Forum were in attendance on the challenges that faces deployment of broadband infrastructure in the country.

He said NCC complained about lack to the adherence to the provision of National Economic Council document.

“A document that specifies a tax of about a 145 naira per a meter length of fibre but unfortunately, states in the country are charging in essence s of prohibited amounts between 7000-8000 naira per meter length of fibre.

“At that meeting, one of the resolution was that provision of the NEC report should be respected; it is still an extant provision and therefore all states of the federation should ensure compliance to 145 Naira per meter.

“As Fibre deployment is against the 8000 that is being charged at the moment.

So, if we can enforce this resolution and commitment from that sitting we will ensure we redeploy more broadband capacity that would in turn empower students of this country in multitude of ways, ‘’ he said.

Earlier, Teniola said his team was in NCC to introduce the newly elected National Executive Council (NEC) to the EVC and also to discuss other challenges facing the association.

He said ATCON was passionate about making sure that broadband penetration in Nigeria is high.

He said part of the strategy the association had earmarked on to achieve this feat is the Introduction of ATCON Broadband and Technology Investment Forum in all states of the Federation.

Teniola also seek the assistance of NCC in the issue of multiple taxation adding that the telecom companies at the moment were facing 38 different taxations.

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