Telecommunications operators have called on the Federal Government to review the Tax and Levy Amended Order 2015.
Under the aegis of Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), the operators said the 2015 order, which was signed by the Minister of Finance in the Goodluck Jonathan administration, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, created lot of confusion in the taxes and levies regime, making the environment harsh for business, not minding the government’s Ease of Doing Business programme.
ALTON, in a document signed by its Head of Operations, Gbolahan Awonuga, was responding to the planned sanction of its members by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
NCAA had warned all telecoms operators and owners of high-rise structures around airports to remit their outstanding debts to the body or face sanctions. NCAA Director-General, Capt. Muhtar Usman, gave the order during a meeting with ALTON.
But in the document ALTON made available to journalists yesterday, the telecoms body agreed that all taxes charged by the NCAA were statutory, according to the NCAA Act, adding that its members were informed that the essence of the Aviation Height clearance was purely for safety, because they have to identify the routes to guide the pilots in navigation.
“We were informed that there are categories of aircraft, big, medium and small. Also, the choppers and the drones are part of their responsibilities, and these are not limited to telecoms infrastructure but to banks, radio stations and high rise buildings,” it stated.
ALTON dispelled claims of a face-off between it and NCAA, stressing that on the yearly renewal, the NCAA DG informed operators that the reason for the renewal was because the earth shifts base occasionally and the co-ordinates also change, as the one taken a year ago might be different from the one taken this year.
“We need clarification on the charges, and this led to the agreement at the meeting to form an advisory committee, which comprises NCAA and ALTON representatives. Our members are responsible corporate citizens of the country and natural partners in progress that follow due processes,” the operators added.