NCC woos investors with 30 per cent tax reduction

Nigeria’s telecoms sector regulator,  the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday said prospective investors into the telecoms sector would only need to pay 30 per cent of income tax, among other mouth-watering incentives rolled out by the Federal Government.

It said the sector which attracted $70 billion foreign direct investment  (FDI) last year, has been adding between $4 billion and $5billoon quarterly in FDI since the beginning of the year.

NCC Executive Vice-Chairman/CEO, Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, who unveiled the package to prospective investors who thronged the Nigeria Pavilion during its opening at the ongoing International Telecoms Union (ITU), Telecom World  in Durban, South Africa,  said investors stood to enjoy pioneer status as well as import duty waivers on essential equipment needed for them to setup businesses in Nigeria.

He said the Executive Order of the Federal Government laid special emphasis on transparency in the discharge of official responsibility.

Prof Dambatta said with a huge youthful population ever ready to communicate, investors needed not fear about quick returns on investment (RoI).

He said the steady growth of the telecoms sector’s contribution to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product  (GDP) now at 10.5 per cent, bears eloquent testimony to the sector’s resilience.  He said the non-oil sector has been growing the GDP in line with Federal Government’s Economic diversification blueprint,  adding that the telecoms sector has been taking the lead in this area.

He said opportunities for investment are available in the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors of the industry, stating that while voice appears not to be doing badly, data is the next investment frontier.

Dambatta said the ITU forum usually provides opportunity to learn about new technologies, such as Internet of Things (IoT)  and other new technologies.

He said: “We also come to share our experiences and take home new ideas in global best practices that will assist us to strengthen our regulatory processes and interventions that will make the accelerated growth of telecommunications to dovetail into a better and stronger economy.

“In our modest quest to bridge the digital divide, the board of the NCC has put in place initiatives to fast track internet access and taking services to several unserved and underserved areas of Nigeria

“Although we have 162.3million active subscribers on our various networks, we at NCC believe there is much left to be done in terms of improvement of Quality of Service (QoS), more access to as many people as possible.

“We must admit that the QoS is not where we want it to be yet, but with time and increase of infrastructure deployment, we should be there soonest than later,”Dambatta said.