Nigeria’s telecommunications regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has announced that it would implement an operating tax on the country’s telecommunication operators in an effort to increase customer services and ensure full compliance with its directives.
The NCC reported that all telecommunication providers must pay 2.5 percent of their annual income as an operating levy.
The NCC said in a statement that it had held a public discussion into the review of the draft Annual Operating Levy (AOL) and has agreed “to look into some of the issues raised by operators, in order to develop a sound regulatory framework.”
Operators Airtel, MTN, Etisalat, VisaFone and Glo all participated in the public inquiry.
The telecom companies have expressed their concern to the NCC over the huge interconnectivity debt that they must now contend with and have called on the NCC to reconsider the new levy.
“The AOL is a 2.5 percent levy charged on the annual revenue of both network and non-network providers. The issues that the NCC is seeking to address through the new regulation range from non-payment of operating levies, delayed remittances, non-compliance with rules and failure to submit financial statements to the NCC, as required by law,” the regulator said in announcing the new tax.
The draft regulation also “seeks to impose sanctions and penalties on defaulters.”
NCC Director-General Eugene Juwah said the draft AOL regulations “are aimed at creating an effective administration of the operating levy regime.”
“They will also remove any ambiguity in respect of the AOL and other fees and charges being borne by operators,” he added.