The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday announced that advertisements and promotions by telecom companies would henceforth attract payments of fees.
It added that the payments on advertisements and promotions do not amount to taxation in any form.
The NCC’s Executive Commissioner (Stakeholders Management) Mr Adeleke Adewolu, stated this at the end of a three-day public inquiry on draft of Telecom Regulations and Guidelines yesterday in Abuja.
Adeolu said the new fees for advertisements and promotions are to meet current realities and protect the consumers.
But the operators have kicked against the move which they say represented a multiple tax on the industry.
A representative of 9mobile, Mr Ikenna Ikoku, who spoke virtually, had earlier claimed that the payment of fees on advertisements and promos will amount to double taxation.
“We pay to APCON and lottery commission; paying to NCC again will result to multiple taxation. The NCC should only charge processing fees,” he said.
“The proposed fees should be left at N350,000 as it is. This is another fee that the industry is not pleased with. We would want the commission to suspend the increase for the time being,” he said.
Adeolu, however, said Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) and the Nigerian Lottery Commission (NLC) are regulators of advertisements and lotteries while NCC is the regulator of the telcom industry where they operate.
“I think multiple taxation is a strong word to use there. It is not in the form of a tax. These are fees for the administration of an application process whereby licencees have to apply to us.
“This is in the interest of consumers to ensure that where advertisements or promotions are being run on telecommunication platforms, they are done with responsibility, with existing laws and to ensure that the interest of consumers are protected.
“If you look at the rates for advertisements and promotions, these rates were set many years ago.
“They do not reflect the reality of today’s time and what we are already doing is bringing them in line with current trends in the country and industry.”
He, however said the NLC had a role to play as the regulator of lottery, adding that lotteries impact on consumers because people play it with their money.
He said NLC has granted a role in ensuring that the interest of people participating in lotteries were protected and their fees at a charge for the purpose of carrying out obligations under its act.
“The NCC on the other hand has the clear mandate to protect consumers in running advertisements on promo on telecommunications networks.
“The two acts are very clear and I do not think this amounts to multiple taxation in any way,” he said.