Nigerian Telecom Operators Plan Increase In Tariffs, Say Current Rates No Longer Sustainable Under Tinubu
The Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), has said that there might be an increase in telecom tariff in the country as the current tariff regime in the telecom sector is no longer sustainable.
This was made known by the Chairman of ALTON, Mr. Gbenga Adebayo, in Lagos State during a stakeholders’ meeting with the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), Dr. Aminu Maida.
Adebayo said that price review should be considered in line with the rising operating cost, adding that operators are burdened by 52 taxes across the country under President Bola Tinubu.
Daily Trust quoted Adebayo as saying, “Our current pricing regime is no longer sustainable. That is the fact, with the way things are going, I am not sure we can sustain this sector with the current pricing regime.”
The ALTON Chairman who urged the NCC Chairman, Maida to intervene in the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) debts owed them by Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), which according to him, had now hit N200 billion, noted that the total debts must be paid.
He stressed that the association would not hesitate blocking debtor banks from accessing the service.
In response, the NCC Chairman who assured Adebayo of the support of stakeholders in the sector said it was important to put a timeline on resolutions reached at the meeting.The NCC boss who assured the stakeholders of his support and commitment to the growth of the sector, said his action would be guided by the Renewed Agenda of President Bola Tinubu and the policy guidelines enumerated by the Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Dr. Bosun Tijani.
Maida noted that the government sees the telecom sector as critical to the economy, and therefore urged the operators to improve the quality of their services as well as boost job creation in the country.
Also speaking, the President of Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Mr Anthony Emoekpere, said there is a need to bridge the telecom infrastructure in the country as part of measures to improve the quality of service.