- Telecommunication providers in Nigeria may begin to charge different rates for different states
- The telcos said the move is to eliminate multiple taxation across the country for the companies
- ALTON Chairman, Gbenga Adebayo, said this was due to the fact that the cost of doing business differs across the states
Nigerian telecommunication subscribers may soon start paying different rates for calls, data, SMS, and other telecom services in different states.
The telecommunication providers revealed that the move is to curb multiple taxation and business environments across different states.
No more blanket tariffs for all states
The telcos said that it was longer feasible for Nigeria to have a blanket national tariff since the cost of doing business in one state differs from the other.
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The Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators Chairman of Nigeria (ALTON), Gbenga Adebayo, stated this during his address at the Nigeria e-Government Summit 2023 on Thursday, September 28, 2023.
Punch reports that Adebayo said the cost of providing services in some states is higher than in others, so it should be reflected in the provision of services.
According to the ALTON chief, some states have multiple taxes, and the companies must pass the cost of doing business in such states to the subscribers.
Telecommunication firms notify NCC
Adebayor further revealed that the Telcos have notified the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) of their plans, stating that it is the way to go.
He stated that the telcos are backing up their claims with data.
Per Adebayo, the current price regime for telecom service was unfair to states providing a bright and favourable business environment for the telcos.
He said tariffs vary across different geographical regions.
"If you leave Lagos for Benin, you will pay a different tariff. It is the same telephone service, but it is because regulations and rules in these regions differ. This is why end-user rates differ. So, we are saying that the time for a national tariff is gone. Today's reality needs a new approach."
If the plan pulls through, the development will guarantee tariffs for telecom services across the country vary and reduce the cost of calls depending on the location.
He said the telecoms will begin implementing the new plan as soon as the NNC approves the telcos' request.
Adebayo said the telcos will meet with the new Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, Bosun Tijani, to discuss the development.
NCC rejects implementation of new tariffs
Recently, the NCC cautioned telecom providers against a tariff hike, stating the current realities do not support increasing tariffs.
NCC said eliminating fuel subsidies has not resulted in plans to raise telecom rates.
Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, the NCC's executive vice chairman (EVC), gave the assurance while accepting the Titans of Tech (ToT) award in Lagos.
This comes after the NCC reeled out new guidelines for telecommunication companies in Nigeria to improve customers' experience and relations.
“Not Sustainable”: MTN, Airtel, Glo, 9mobile want price review for data, call, SMS
Earlier, Legit.ng reported that Mobile network operators (MNOs) called for a review of the current price regime for calls, short message service (SMS), and data.
Speaking under the aegis of ALTON, the service providers said the pricing is no longer sustainable.
ALTON chairman, Adebayo, noted that the matter requires urgent review, given the sector's importance to Nigeria's economy, Guardian reports.