This 10% increase is lower than that proposed last March by the telecom operators. The latter amounted to 40% and should enable operators to better cope with the increase in operating costs.
The Nigerian federal government has ordered telecom operators, including MTN Nigeria and Airtel Nigeria, to reverse the 10% increase they recently applied to the prices of some of their telecom services. This directive is contained in a press release signed by Reuben Muoka, Director of Public Affairs of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
According to Muoka, the tariff adjustment applied by Airtel and MTN companies was initially proposed and provisionally approved by NCC management, pending final approval by the NCC Board. However, it was eventually rescinded, not having received final approval from the Board of the Commission.
The specter of an increase in communication tariffs has hung over the Nigerian telecommunications sector since the beginning of the year. As early as March, operators mentioned this possibility to deal with the increase in operating costs. In May, they proposed a 40% increase in the cost of calls, texts and data, but the government and the people opposed it. The operators have also asked for a review of the various taxes they pay to the government, but to no avail.
Mr. Muoka said the NCC Board’s decision not to approve the telecom operators’ proposed tariff adjustment follows “ a critical and realistic review and analysis of the current operating environment and business climate in Nigeria, as it affects all sectors of the economy ”. Thus, “ although there is an increase in the cost of production, the provision of telecommunications services remains very profitable and it is necessary that subscribers are not subject to an increase in tariffs ”.