Phase 3 explains concession agreement with TCN

PHOTO :Iwin.org.ng

Phase3 Telecom, independent fibre optic infrastructure and telecommunications services provider – has again refuted allegations that it owes Federal Government of Nigeria some money over fibre optic agreement with Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).

A press statement signed by Adebayo Azeez, director Legal & Regulatory Services, Phase3 Telecom read “The attention of the management of Phase3 has been drawn to the false and scurrilous information about its concession agreement with Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) that is making the rounds in a section of the media.

While we will ignore the ridiculous insinuations that are far from true but intended to obscure what the real issues are, we wish to state very emphatically to all our esteemed clients and members of the general public that what was published is a clear distortion of facts and should be promptly disregarded.

The facts concerning this transaction are as follows: – Phase3 Telecom does not owe the Federal government the sum of NGN27.18bn over fibre optic agreement.

– Despite deployment challenges (including multi-year delays in linesmen allocation by TCN and devaluation/depreciation of the national currency), Phase3 has ensured that all undisputed payments including total concession fee payment, royalty payment and rental payment for equipment space to TCN are up to date.

– Despite inheriting dilapidated fiber optic networks from TCN Phase3 Telecom deployed a total of 2000km and installed state-of-art transmission equipment along with the rehabilitation of the existing fiber. We have thus far expended more than $100m as capital and operating expenditure on the project.

– Meanwhile, it is also important to stress that the issue at hand, which is bringing up all these unfounded allegations, is the attempt by TCN to resist the harmonization of right of charges for deployment of fiber optic cables as agreed and communicated by the National Economic Council towards affordable broadband services in the country.

This will, quite naturally, necessitate a review of the Right of Way (Row) charges for deployment of fiber optics on power lines (concession fees) to be at par with other RoW charges available in the telecom industry.

Fortunately, the contract review process towards ensuring the success of this project for the overall benefit of the country is currently under the supervision of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), the regulatory agency saddled with this responsibility.

And when that process is completed, we believe that we shall be vindicated as we continue to proffer affordable and robust service solutions that will see customers and other businesses rapidly leverage the opportunities of reliable broadband internet across Nigeria.”

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