The Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of MTN Nigeria, Mr. Ferdinand Moolman, has disclosed that the activities of ‘over-the-top’ companies like WhatsApp, Viber have adverse effects on its business and affects the sustainability of Nigeria’s telecommunications industry.
Moolman stated this yesterday while highlighting factors affecting Nigeria’s telecommunications industry, at a hearing convened by Senate Committee on Communications. The hearing chaired by the vice-chairman of the committee, Adeola Olamilekan, was organised following the now suspended data tariff hike by the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC.
While identifying the factors, he said, “the depletion of operator revenues by unlicensed providers of “over-the-top” telecoms services who do not have any physical presence; nor pay any taxes; nor make any significant contribution to employment or other socio-economic objectives of government in Nigeria.”
Mentioning WhatsApp, Viber and the likes, the MTN boss pointed out that these companies were eroding gains of Nigeria’s telecom companies and asked Nigeria to take action like the United Arab Emirates did.
He identified another factor as the inability of operators to access foreign exchange, explaining that “this is particularly debilitating given that most of our inputs are sourced off-shore. This has very significantly increased both operating and capital expenses.