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MTN, Airtel, Glo, Other Telcos Move To Increase Call, Data Tariff – [See Details]

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Nigerian telecom operators have reiterated their request for an upward tariff revision to counterbalance the escalating expenses associated with their operations and investments in the sector.

This plea comes after 11 years, during which tariffs remained stable, despite the industry grappling with substantial rises in operational costs and investments in network expansion and upgrades.

Naija News understands telcos presently in Nigeria include MTN, Airtel, Globacom Limited, Broad-Based Communications Limited, 9Mobile, Main One Service Company Limited, and Fiberone Broadband Limited, among others.

A joint statement obtained by journalists on Thursday from the Association of Licensed Telecom Companies of Nigeria and the Association of Telecom Companies of Nigeria, highlights the need for the Federal Government to facilitate a constructive dialogue with industry stakeholders.

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The aim is to tackle pricing challenges and establish a framework that balances consumers’ affordability and operators’ financial viability.

“Despite the adverse economic headwinds, the telecommunications industry remains the only industry yet to review its general service pricing framework upward in the last 11 years, primarily due to regulatory constraints.

“For a fully liberalised and deregulated sector, the current price control mechanism, which is not aligned with economic realities, threatens the industry’s sustainability and can erode investors’ confidence,” part of the statement read.

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ALTON and ATCON have raised concerns regarding deliberate acts of vandalism, theft, and other obstacles hindering the sector’s progress.

They have appealed to the federal government to safeguard assets and network infrastructure and called for legislation to recognize telecommunications infrastructure as critical national infrastructure.

Naija News reports that the significance of telecommunications infrastructure in Nigeria’s national security and socioeconomic development cannot be overstated.

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This is particularly crucial as the country is currently grappling with various security challenges that demand prompt and decisive action to address these threats.

The Telcos lamented that “Attacks on cell towers, fibre optic cables, and other critical assets disrupt telecommunications services and result in significant financial losses for operators.”

ALTON and ATCON have highlighted their members’ ongoing infrastructure deficits, which result in limited access to vital telecommunication services. These challenges include multiple taxation, stringent regulations, high right-of-way charges, an unreliable power supply, and vandalism of telecommunication infrastructure.

In terms of regulatory independence, ALTON and ATCON are advocating for the maintenance of an independent regulatory environment to prevent undue influence and interference in the operations of the Nigerian Communications Commission.

This will help build trust within the telecommunications sector and promote investment opportunities.

Moreover, the importance of regulatory neutrality and independence in ensuring a flourishing telecommunications industry cannot be overstated. Both groups have reiterated their dedication to collaborating with the government to tackle the obstacles hindering the growth of the telecommunications sector in Nigeria.

The associations concluded, “By fostering a conducive regulatory environment, prioritising infrastructure development, enhancing security measures, and facilitating pricing adjustments, the government can unlock the full potential of Nigeria’s telecommunications sector, driving economic growth and societal development.”

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, investments in Nigeria’s telecommunications sector dropped to $134m in 2023 from $456.8m in the same year, marking a $322m decrease.

This decline signifies a reduction of around 70.5 per cent. Industry experts warn that diminishing investments could present obstacles for telecom companies in upholding or improving the standard of their services.

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