25 February 2013

Nigeria: Telcos Must Pay 2.5 Percent AOL, NCC Says

Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said all service providers in the country's telecommunication industry must pay 2.5 per cent of their annual income as operating levy.

But operators said they are more concerned about the huge inter connectivity debt they have to contend with in their operations and urged the NCC to reconsider the mode of computing the annual levy charge especially as it concerns the use of gross income.

NCC which held a public enquiry on the review of the draft Annual Operating Levy (AOL) in Abuja, last Thursday however, accepted to look into some of the issues raised by telecommunication operators in order to develop a sound regulatory framework for the sector.

AOL is a 2.5 per cent charged on the annual revenue of both network both non-network providers.

Among the issues the NCC is seeking to address through the new regulation ranges from non- payment of operating levies, delayed remittances, non-compliance to set ruled and failure to submit financial statement to the commission as required by law.

The draft regulation also seeks to impose sanctions and penalties on defaulters

Eugene Juwah, chief executive of NCC said the draft AOL regulations are aimed at creating and providing an effective and efficient administration of the operating levy regime.

He said the regulations would complement the Act and the respective licenses issued by the commission and will also remove any ambiguity existing in respect of AOL and other fees and charges being borne by operators.

"The Commission is certain that these regulations will provide the guiding standards and principles for a dynamic AOL administration regime in the Nigerian telecommunication industry and representing another effort by the commission towards ensuring that the standards in the industry reflects international best practices while taking into consideration our local circumstances," he said.

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