The Association of Licensed Telecom Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) has released a comprehensive report detailing the numerous taxes and levies that telecommunications operators in Nigeria are required to pay to various governmental bodies at the federal, state, and local levels, as well as non-state entities. This report highlights the adverse impact of these financial obligations on the quality of service provision within the industry.
Among the notable payments telecom operators must make are Right of Way (RoW) charges, a tertiary education trust fund tax which has been increased from 2.5 percent to 3 percent, and value-added tax (VAT) imposed on cell towers or base transceiver stations (BTS). Failure to meet these financial obligations may lead to the closure of their BTS, which poses a significant threat to the quality of service they offer to consumers.
Adding to the telecom operators’ concerns is the looming threat of new legislative bills at both the national and state levels. These bills aim to introduce additional taxes and levies on private enterprises, including the already heavily taxed telecom operators. Operators are also grappling with the escalating cost of automotive gas oil (diesel), which directly impacts their ability to sustain telecommunications operations.
ALTON has pointed out that a substantial 300 percent hike in diesel costs was implemented at the beginning of the year, coupled with a substantial level of industry indebtedness. Operators are also grappling with limited access to foreign exchange at an increased rate, as well as heightened levels of insecurity across the country, leading to increased theft and damage to their infrastructure.
Despite these challenges, ALTON reaffirms the dedication of telecom operators to enhance the quality of service (QoS) and overall customer experience. They emphasize their ongoing investments in expanding network coverage and capacity to ultimately improve the overall quality of service, all for the benefit of their valued customers.