- Telecommunication operators in Nigeria have hinted at new pricing for calls, data, and SMS
- The Association of Telecommunication Operators in Nigeria (ALTON) said the current pricing is not sustainable
- The telcos said the operators are burdened by multiple taxes across the country
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The Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) revealed on Thursday, November 16, 2023, that the current tariff regime in the sector is no longer sustainable.
ALTON Chairman, Gbenga Adebayo, revealed this in Lagos at a stakeholders’ meeting with the newly confirmed Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Aminu Maida.
Telcos say inflation and costs make tariff hikes necessary
Adebayo said price review should be considered following rising costs, adding that multiple nationwide taxes burden operators.
“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 boss asked the NCC helmsman to intervene in the USSD debt owed by banks to the telcos, which he put at N200 billion.
Adebayo stated that the total debt must be paid, noting that the body would block debtor banks from using the service.
He stated that it is essential to put a timeline to issues reached at the meeting.
Daily Trust reports that ALTON’s president, Anthony Emoekpere, said there is a need to bridge the telecom infrastructure in Nigeria to boost service delivery.
NCC charges telcos for service delivery
Maida, the NCC boss, assured the operators of his support and commitment to the sector’s growth, stating that he would be guided by the agenda of President Bola Tinubu and the policies of the Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Bosun Tijani.
Maida said the government sees the sector as essential to the economy and urged the operators to enhance service delivery and boost job creation in Nigeria.
Telcos may charge different tariffs for different regions
An earlier report by Legit.ng said that 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.
The telcos said it was no longer feasible for Nigeria to have a blanket national tariff since the cost of doing business in one state differs.
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.
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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.
Adebayor further revealed that the Telcos have notified the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) of their plans, stating that it is the way to go.
“N4 per SMS”: MTN, Airtel, others to suffer $3bn messaging revenue Loss to WhatsApp
Legit.ng reported that there is a projection that over-the-top (OTT) business messaging traffic will hit 375 billion messages in 2028, and 100 billion messages in 2023 are expected to reduce the quality of SMS networks.
The development could cost telecom operators in Nigeria and elsewhere a revenue loss of over $3 billion in SMS business messaging revenue in the next five years.
SMS is a huge source of revenue for telcos in Nigeria, pegged at N4 per SMS by the telecom regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).