Multiple Taxation: ALTON May Call For Review Of Tariffs
….Seeks Clarifications On EIA Demand Notices
The Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) has said it may call for review tariffs due to the burden of multiple taxes. The group also seeks to clarify whose right it is to issue demand notices on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).
In a letter to the Federal Ministry of Environment seeking clarification on whose right it is to issue Demand Notices on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), the group pointed out that “the telecoms industry is being overburdened with taxes and levies and may, therefore, be forced to call for a review of tariffs. Tax is regarded as an oxygen to development but if oxygen is too much, it could lead to disaster. Our members are responsible corporate citizens of the country and natural partners in progress that follows due processes.”
ALTON seeks to know if demand notices for EIA should be from the Federal Ministry of Environment/National (FME)/ National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) or the State Ministries of Environment.
A statement signed by the Chairman of ALTON, Gbenga Adebayo, observed that its members obtain EIA from the Federal Ministry of Environment through NESREA in collaboration with each State Ministry of Environment, however, noting that “the States are now demanding for another process directly from our members, this amounted to multiple taxation and charges.”
ALTON called on the Federal Government to look into the issue of Tax and Levy Amended Order 2015 hurriedly signed by the former Minister of Finance in the last administration, Mrs. Ngozi Okonji-Iwaela. This order, according to ALTON, has created a lot of confusion in the taxes and levies regime thereby making the environment hash for business, not minding the Government Ease of Doing Business programme.
“The issues of EIA Demand Notices by some States has led to sealing of many telecommunication Sites thereby causing the issue of quality of service, which many times are beyond the control of operators,” the statement noted.
ALTON further pleaded with the Federal Government to declare telecommunication infrastructure as Critical National Infrastructure as stated in the Cybercrime Act 2015 forbidding any State or agency from tampering with any telecoms infrastructure.
ALTON is the industry body of all licensed telecommunications operators in Nigeria. It is
duly registered under the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and interfaces with the
Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and other Government Ministries,
Departments and Agencies on behalf of the telecommunication industry.