ALTON Warns Against Using Telecom Sector as Economic Palliative, Cites Multiple Challenges

The Chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecom Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Gbenga Adebayo, has cautioned against using the telecom sector as a solution to Nigeria’s economic challenges.
Speaking at the Groupe Spécial Mobile Association (GSMA) digital economy report launch in Abuja, Adebayo highlighted the numerous challenges faced by the telecom industry that hinder its growth and development.
According to the GSMA digital report, the telecom industry contributes 8% to Nigeria’s GDP and 13.5% when considering the broader ICT ecosystem.
Despite this significant contribution, the sector faces a multitude of challenges, including investment challenges, right of way, multiple taxation, and regulatory issues.
Adebayo emphasized the existence of over 45 associated charges and levies on telecom operators, which remain in place even after the supposed removal of right of way costs.
This creates a difficult business environment, discouraging investment and hindering the industry’s ability to deliver quality services to consumers.
The ALTON chairman also pointed out the issue of regulatory interference and the lack of independence for the regulator as further obstacles to the sector’s progress.
He called for a more conducive business environment to attract sustainable investment and foster effective regulation, both of which are essential for the telecom industry to thrive.
The GSMA digital report serves as a reminder of the critical role the telecom sector plays in Nigeria’s economy.
However, addressing the challenges highlighted by ALTON is crucial to ensuring the industry can continue to contribute positively and support the nation’s digital transformation.
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