The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has directed telecommunications operators in the country to reverse the 10% increase in tariff for voice and data services which they recently started implementing.
In a statement signed by its Director of Public Affairs, Reuben Muoka, the NCC admitted that it had earlier approved the increment. According to the regulator, the consideration for its earlier approval of the 10% tariff adjustments was in line with its mandates as provided by the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003, and other extant Regulations and Guidelines.
The statement further explained that the increment was within the provisions of the existing price floor and price cap as determined for the industry.
However, after a critical and realistic review of the operational environment and the current business climate in Nigeria, the approval was reversed.
What the NCC is saying
While ordering the telecom operators to stop implementing the increment, the Commission in the statement said:
- “Even though the tariff adjustment was proposed and provisionally approved by the Management, pending the final approval of the Board of the Commission, in the end, it did not have the approval of the Board of the Commission. As a result, it is reversed.
- “The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, has maintained that his priority is to protect the citizens and ensure justice for all stakeholders involved. As such, anything that will bring more hardship at this critical time will not be accepted.”
- “This was also why he obtained the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari for the suspension of the proposed 5 per cent excise duty, to maintain a conducive enabling environment for the telecom operators. Much as there is an increase in the cost of production, the provision of telecom services is still very profitable and it is necessary that the subscribers are not subjected to a hike in charges.
- “In view of the above, the Commission, through a letter sent on the 12th of October 2022, has already directed the affected Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to reverse the upward tariff adjustment. The Commission will carry out further consultations with all industry stakeholders on the best approaches that will protect and uphold the interest of both the consumers and the service providers,” it added.
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