Minister Commends Glo for Being Innovative, …
…as Company Decries High Interconnect Rate and Taxation
The Federal Government has commended National Carrier, Globacom for its leading efforts in innovation and other milestones even as Globacom calls for government support in the provision of communication infrastructure to be shared by all players in the industry.
Speaking during a courtesy visit to the minister by Globacom officials led by its Group Chief Operating Officer (GCOO), Mr. Mohamed Jameel and the Head of Glo 1, Mr. Folu Aderibigbe, the Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, described Globacom as a very important player in the GSM services industry in Nigeria. She particularly commended Globacom for being a catalyst in price reduction and for being a leader in value added services.
On the challenges facing the industry, Jameel lamented that if conscious steps are not taken to save the medium and small players in the GSM category, their fate may soon follow the trends in the CDMA category who have been sapped dry due to heavy and unbearable interconnect charges paid to the dominant player.
The Globacom’s GCOO also drew attention to multiple taxations from Local Youths, Local Government Authorities, State Governments and Federal Government Authorities pleading with Government to publish a common Code of Conduct to govern the demands of the Various tiers of government.
On multiple taxation, the Minister criticized some arms of government for over levying successful companies. She explained that contrary to existing laws governing all aspects of taxation the level of compliance has been rather low saying that some state governments are “under pressure to shore up internally generated revenues which has made them descend so heavily on the industries they perceive as “successful”, including telecommunications operators”. She however informed the team that discussions are on-going to get the various arms and layers of government to comply with the laws governing the telecoms industry.
Mrs Johnson added that as Nigeria is trying to build a local ICT industry, it cannot allow any operator in any category to die, because they address dire and specific needs of the populace. To this end, she said government is working with a team of consultants to see to the that interconnect fees are reduced to something fair to all players.
Jameel thanked the Minister and for all the support given to Globacom by the federal government in its drive to providing world class services to its teeming subscribers, noting that the company is the second leading GSM provider in Nigeria in terms of subscriber base. He promised that Globacom will continue to be a very responsible Nigerian company and will not relent in its efforts to improve the services available to the Nigerian people.