Head Compliance and Monitoring, Alkasim Umar while delivering the keynote address on behalf of the Executive Commissioner Stakeholders Management, Sunday Dare commended His Excellency, Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje for demonstrating an exemplary action for the growth of telecoms infrastructure in his state by waiving Two Hundred and Twenty One Million (N221,000,000) imposed on one of the major service providers by the Kano Urban Planning and Development Authority (KNUPDA) as permit fees in respect of two Federal roads passing through the state.
The essence of this parliament is discuss the following six major impediments to roll out of infrastructure with a view to harmonizing processes to minimize challenges of deployment of telecoms infrastructure in the 36 states of the of Federation:
Uniform RoW rates and standardization review mechanisms applicable across all states. Uniform approval processes and “One stop shop” agencies which will act as a single interface for all site approvals and RoW within a state. Dig once policies to reduce cost of roll-out and protect roads and other public infrastructure. Zero interference commitments to ensure that legal due process will be observed and adequate notice given before any enforcement action is taken against any service provider. Telecoms infrastructure must however never be tampered with. Design SLAs with Operators to ensure that issues are timely resolved. Implementation of escalation processes for all operator misconduct as well as effective dispute resolution mechanisms.
To set up the session for further discussions and deliberations in preparation for a question and answer session two perspective papers were presented:
Legal Framework for Telecommunications Infrastructure Roll- out presented on behalf of SAN Paul Osoro. The paper delved on NCA 2003; NITDA Act 2007 and Cybercrime (Prohibition and Prevention ETC) Act 2015. It also talked about the many challenges plaguing telecoms infrastructure rollout in Nigerian states.
Harmonization of Taxation/ Regulation of Telecommunications Infrastructure, presented by Professor Abiola Sanni (Prof. of Commercial Law and Taxation) at University of Lagos. The presentation covered taxation and the desire for the 3- levels of Government (Federal, States and LGAs) to generate tax.
Also a panel comprising six top states authorities officials was constituted to get their views regarding right of way, Taxation on telecoms/ multiple taxation at the state and local government levels, dig once policy to provide ducts for fibre optics and issues that have to do with states regulations on telecoms/ multiple regulation. Efosa Edehen, Director Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement moderated the panel discussion.