Business Edge | Nigeria’s Telcos Propose 40% Tariff Hike

Telecommunications companies in Nigeria under the aegis of the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) have proposed a 40% hike in call, SMS and data tariffs. According to the body, it tariff hike has become necessary in light of the current economic realities of the country which have seen the cost of business rise across the board. In its letter to the Nigerian Communications Commission, the group said that tariffs for calls will now be at 8.95 naira, 5.61 naira for SMS and 40% more on each gigabyte of data, explaining that the telecommunications industry has been challenged by the economic downturn occasioned by the 2020 COVID19 pandemic which has now been worsened by the ongoing Russian war on Ukraine- both of which have led to a 35% increase in the operating costs of the companies. Furthermore, the introduction of a 5% excise duty on telecommunications services by the Nigerian government has added yet another layer to the multiple taxes and levies those companies contend with. On the week’s final edition of Business Edge, Tolulope Adeleru-Balogun and Adeolu Ogunbajo who is the President of the Nigerian Association of Telecoms Subscribers take a look at the proposed 40% increase in tariffs in Nigeria’s telecommunications industry.

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Right off the mark, Adeolu Ogunbanjo disagrees with the proposed increase. “I don’t think there’s any justification to increase any tariff,” he says. One of the factors ALTON referenced as being responsible for their upward increase is the cost of diesel, which Ogunbajo recalls as only skyrocketing in the recent past. More importantly, the barring of lines (an estimated 72 million sim cards)  that are not linked to the National Identification Number per the NCC directive has led to a massive loss of revenue by the telcos. This for him is a more likely reason for the telcos’ tariff hike.

The full episode of Business Edge is above.

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