The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has assured telecom subscribers that while there could be justifiable reasons for Mobile Network Operators’ demand for tariff increase for calls and SMS, the regulator is not yielding to their proposal now.
In a statement signed by Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, NCC’s Director of Public Affairs, the Commission stated that contrary to MNOs’ agitation to increase tariffs for voice and Short Messaging Services (SMS) by a certain percentage, there are no cost-based and empirical studies to align with the MNOs and determine appropriate cost.
“For the avoidance of any doubt, and contrary to MNOs’ agitation to increase tariffs for voice and Short Messaging Services (SMS) by a certain percentage, the Commission wishes to categorically inform telecoms subscribers and allay the fears of Nigerians that no tariff increase will be effected by the operators without due regulatory approval by the Commission,” the statement reads.
Consistent with international best practices and established regulatory procedures, the NCC ensures its regulatory activities are guided by regular cost-based and empirical studies to determine the appropriate cost (upper and floor price) within which service providers are allowed to charge their subscribers for services delivered.
The Commission ensures that any cost determined, as an outcome of such transparent studies is fair enough to enhance healthy competition among operators, provide wider choices for the subscribers as well as ensure the sustainability of the Nigerian telecoms industry.
Telecom operators in Nigeria have written to the regulator through its umbrella body, the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) for a 40 percent increase in tariff for calls and SMS, citing the high cost of running their operations as the major reason for their proposed tariff hike.