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NCC seeks right of way approval for telecom companies



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THE Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, has appealed to the three tiers of government to strictly adhere to the Resolution of the National Economic Council (NEC) on the right of way, which stipulates taxes to be charged telecommunication operators in the country.

Danbatta in a meeting with the Minister of Communication Technology, Adebayo Shittu, at the commission headquarter in Abuja complained that telecom operators are subjected to indiscriminate regime of taxes, adding that it is always a major challenge getting approvals for right of way, especially from state and local governments.

He said: “You find states, local and federal governments charging different extremely high rates, and in some instances you find even area boys forcefully subjecting operators to pay. This is a menace. My appeal is that the Minister of Communication should work hand in hand with the commission, to ensure adherence to the provision of NEC on right of way.”

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The Minister of Communication Technology, Adebayo Shittu, in his own statement, called on the commission to urgently address the high rate of drop calls and unsolicited messages by telecom operators, saying Nigerians are complaining every day.

“Even as Minister of Communication, I receive unsolicited messages and calls. When you complain, they will ask you to press something to discontinue, and even when you do, they will still continue to charge you, which is very wrong. We must do something to stop this because if we do not, Nigerian people will see us as failures, not capable of protecting their interests,” the minister said.

Prof Danbatta explained that, “On unsolicited text messages, one important regulatory measure we have already put in place is that henceforth, from July 20, all text messages must have a ‘Do Not Disturb’ provision and consumers can opt into this. This is going to apply to all consumers. If this is not adhered to, there will be consequences. The fine is about N10m for non-adherence.”