The CEO of Zain Nigeria has urged the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to relax the regulatory obligations of operators to enable the industry take full advantage of the growth opportunities in the country's burgeoning telecommunications market.
Ligali, who was addressing the opening session of the 2009 West and Central Africa Com conference in Abuja, last week, expressed concerns at the simultaneous imposition of certain regulatory measures, which he feared might affect the cash flow of the operators and stultify the pace at which the industry is growing.
He specifically mentioned the plan to implement the registration of pre-paid customers and number portability at the same time, saying that it would be more beneficial for the regulator to conduct a comprehensive regulatory impact assessment before embarking on such major interventions.
The Zain CEO, whose paper was entitled "Adapting an operator's strategies to new economic conditions and increased competition", also lamented the situation where the various levels of government impose different kinds of taxes on telecommunications operators
According to him, streamlining and harmonizing the functions of the various levels of government with regards to taxes and levies will create a better enabling environment for operators to perform on their licenses and deliver efficient service to the customers. He advocated the establishment of a framework to minimize multiple taxation and regulation, which have been a source of frustration for operators.
Mr. Ligali also canvassed the allowance of holidays on some charges, especially the Operating Levies, Numbering and Spectrum Fees, which operators pay; adding that this will free up resources for reinvestment in network expansion and other core initiatives that will boost the delivery of services to customers.
The Zain boss posited that the liberal interpretation and application of policy and regulatory prescriptions that impose financial obligations, as well as the arrest of unstructured scale of fees and charges levied by various Authorities on telecommunications infrastructure and operations, will not only result in better service delivery but also give operators much needed relief to sustain growth with attendant multiplier effects on the economy.
He promised that Zain would consistently take steps to reduce operating costs, innovate in the area of products and services and also transform its operations to improve efficiencies without compromising customer satisfaction.