Phase3 does not owe FG N27.2bn over fibre optic agreement

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January 17, 2018/Phase3 Telecom Limited

Independent fibre optic infrastructure and telecommunications services provider – Phase3 Telecom has firmly refuted wrong allegations that it and Alheri Engineering limited owe Federal Government of Nigeria the sum of $75,500,000.00 million (about N27.18billion at N360 to $1) over fibre optic agreement with Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).

In a statement released by the company recently, it describes the claim by a section of the news media as scurrilous and unmerited while assuring its clients as well as members of the general public that those accusations were “unmerited insinuations that are far from true but intended to obscure what the real issues are…and should be promptly disregarded”.

Further to these, the company also chose to state that despite deployment challenges which include multi-year delays in linesmen allocation by TCN and devaluation/depreciation of the national currency; Phase3 has ensured that all undisputed payments such as total concession fee payment, royalties, and rental payment for equipment space to TCN were up to date.

That although a dilapidated fiber optic network was inherited from TCN, Phase3 has however, deployed a total of 2000km and installed state-of-art transmission equipment along with the rehabilitation of the existing fiber which has seen concessionaires expend more than $100m as capital and operating expenditure on the project.

The company stressed that the cause for unfounded allegations by TCN is due to its resistance of the harmonization of right of way charges for deployment of fiber optic cables as agreed and communicated by the National Economic Council towards affordable broadband services in the country.

A development that necessitates 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.

While affirming that Phase3 has always honoured the terms of the concession agreement with TCN in line with kilometer of fiber available as well as market realities and most imperatively the contract review process towards ensuring the success of this project for the overall benefit of the country under the supervision of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), the regulatory agency that is saddled with the responsibility of the review process.

Strongly maintaining that Phase3 has never and will never involve itself in such revolting act as defrauding TCN; as its unwavering commitment has always been to proffer affordable and robust service solutions that will see customers and other businesses rapidly leverage the opportunities of reliable broadband internet across Nigeria.

Below is the full Press Statement from Phase3 Telecom Ltd

P3/PS-RM/APRCSCCN18/15

PRESS STATEMENT

ON PHASE3 CONCESSION AGREEMENT WITH TRANSMISSION COMPANY OF NIGERIA (TCN)   

The attention of the management of Phase3 has been drawn to the false and scurrilous information that is making the rounds in a section of the media that Phase3 Telecom Limited (Phase3) and Alheri Engineering Limited (Alheri) owe the Federal Government of Nigeria the sum of$75,500,000.00 Million (about N27.18 Billion) over a concession agreement with Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).

Phase3 firmly refutes such grossly erroneous publications and while we will ignore the unmerited 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 and Alheri Engineering do not owe the Federal Government the sum of NGN27.18bn over fibre optic agreement.

  1. Despite deployment challenges (including multi-year delays in linesmen allocation by TCN and devaluation/depreciation of the national currency), Phase3 is assuring that all undisputed payments such as total concession fee payment, royalties, and rental payment for equipment space to TCN were up to date.
  1. Although a dilapidated fiber optic network was inherited from TCN, Phase3 has however, deployed a total of 2000km and installed state-of-art transmission equipment along with the rehabilitation of the existing fiber. Concessionaires have thus far expended more than $100m as capital and operating expenditure on the project.
  1. 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 way 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.
  1. 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.

Thus, we enjoin all valued customers, partners and stakeholders to stay calm and remain assured as Phase3 is NOT charged with any such falsehood as may be further circulated in the news media.

Signed:

 

Azeez Adebayo

Director, Legal & Regulatory Services

Phase3 Telecom Limited

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