'Simplify Taxes, Cut Fees To Grow Tech Sector' - Google Tells Nigeria
Google has laid fibre optic cables in Uganda's capital Kampala and in Abidjan in Ivory Coast, but said it had no similar plans in Nigeria.
Such fibre optic cables is part of development infrastructure Nigeria needs to grow its tech sector but that can only happen if the government simplifies taxes and reduce fees involved in laying fibre optic cables to encourage development of infrastructure for the technology industry.
Google's manager in the West African country Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor told Reuters on Tuesday that boosting the technology industry would help diversify Nigeria's oil-dependent economy.
"The private sector can play a very strong role," Ehimuan-Chiazor said, adding that internet service providers regularly complained that multiple taxes at the federal and state level raised the cost of expanding the required infrastructure.
"Where the government can help is just removing some of those obstacles - for example, bringing down right of way fees and removing this challenge around multiple taxation," she said.
Right of way fees are the charges paid when securing permission to lay cables.
A reduction of fees by Lagos state government helped bring fast broadband to Yaba, that has now become Nigeria's technology hub.
In March, the Budget and National Planning Ministry advised the government to encourage local production of technology hardware to reduce dependence on imports while generating foreign exchange.