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ALTON petitions Environment Minister on EIA demand notices

Posted by News Express | 6 March 2019 | 1,160 times

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•Environment Minister of State Ibrahim Usman Jibril

The Association of Licenced Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) has petitioned the Minister of the Environment over constant harassment of its members by numerous agencies, particularly of the state governments across the country on issues of Demand Notices on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).

In its letter to the ministry seeking clarification on whose right is to issue Demand Notices for EIA, the association lamented on the burden its members have been bearing culminating in multiple taxation and most times disruption of their services due to shut down sites by the numerous agencies.

The letter signed by the association’s chairman, Engr. Gbenga Adebayo, read in part: “ALTON members obtain EIA from the Federal Ministry of Environment through NESREA in collaboration with each State Ministry of Environment; however, the States are now coming with demand for another process directly from our members. This amounts to multiple taxation and charges. The telecoms industry is being over burdened with taxes and levies and we may be forced to call for review of tariffs. Tax is regarded as oxygen to development but if oxygen is too much, it could lead to disaster. Our members are responsible corporate citizens of the country and natural partners in progress that follows due processes.”

The association went further to harp on the need for government to review the 2015 Tax and Levy Amended Order which it said was hurriedly signed by the then Minister of Finance, Mrs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, as it is creating hardship for industry players.

“We once again call on the Federal Government to look into the issue of Tax and Levy Amended Order 2015 hurriedly signed by the former Minister of Finance Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iwaela in the last administration. This order has created lots of confusion in the taxes and levies regime and making the environment hash for business, not minding the Government’s Ease of Doing Business programme,” ALTON said. 

The association went ahead to plead with the Federal Government to declare telecommunication infrastructure as Critical National Infrastructure as stated in the Cybercrime Act 2015. This they said will limit the rate at which states or their agencies tamper with telecoms infrastructure.

Source: News Express

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