Ibadan, Oyo State – In a significant move to fortify Nigeria’s economic position, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) spearheaded a workshop on multiple-taxation and regulations. The event, held in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, served as a platform for telecommunications stakeholders to brainstorm on the best methods to mitigate the looming threats of multiple-taxation that stifle the nation’s economic growth.
The workshop, graced by several luminaries from the telecommunications sector, carried the theme “Navigating the Landscape of Multiple Taxation and Regulations: Fostering Sustainable Growth through Collaboration.” The discussions were steered toward understanding the implications of ‘nuisance taxes’—a term coined by the World Bank—and finding a sustainable pathway to foster collaboration and promote growth in the industry.
The keynote address was delivered by Adeleke Adewolu, the Executive Commissioner for Stakeholders Management at the NCC. He shed light on the adverse effects of multiple-taxation and its potential to deter developmental strides and investments. “Taxation remains an indispensable tool for driving economic development,” Adewolu began. “However, the menace of multiple-taxation could thwart this advantage, dissuading both local and international investors from seeing the country as a viable investment hub.”
While addressing the assembled stakeholders, Adewolu conveyed the NCC’s firm commitment to tackle the ongoing issue of multiple-taxation. He reassured the telecom industry that the initiatives in the pipeline would reshape the investment atmosphere, making it more favorable and inviting for both local and international investors.
Yet, this issue isn’t one that has surfaced overnight. The burden of multiple taxes has been a pressing concern for telecommunications firms for years. Gbolahan Awonuga, the Executive Secretary of the Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), articulated this sentiment as he highlighted the immense tax pressure faced by telecom companies. Despite the sector’s evident profitability, these firms grapple with a staggering 49 different taxes and levies. Awonuga passionately appealed to the government, urging them to foster a more conducive business environment. “The dividends of a more accommodating business climate are long-term and far-reaching,” Awonuga commented, emphasizing the nation’s potential growth trajectory if the issue is addressed head-on.
The workshop also witnessed contributions from the Director of Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement, Efosa Idehen. Although Idehen could not be present in person, his perspectives were shared by the Head of Compliance, Isah Olatinwo. Olatinwo discussed the primary goal of the meeting: to meticulously review and devise a robust structure. This framework would streamline taxation processes, ensuring that only legitimate tax heads are levied upon companies.
The convergence of these telecommunications titans in Ibadan underscores the critical nature of the issue at hand. As Nigeria seeks to solidify its position as a leading economy in Africa, creating an environment where businesses can thrive without the looming shadow of debilitating taxes becomes paramount. This workshop marked a pivotal step in that direction, setting the stage for collaborative efforts to build a more resilient and prosperous telecommunications sector.
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