The Federal government has directed Mobile Network Operators, MNO, that have increased the tariff for voice and data services on their networks, to reverse such.
A statement by the telecom industry regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC commission notes that 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 and as a result, it is reversed.
It also states that the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, has maintained that his priority is to protect the citizens and ensure justice to all stakeholders involved, as such, anything that will bring more hardship at this critical time will not be accepted.
This was also why the minister obtained the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari for the suspension of the proposed 5 per cent excise duty, in order 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.
It further states that 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 and will carry our 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 and will continue to entrench very transparent processes and procedures for rates determination in the industry.
The process is usually carried out with wide industry consultation. It is through these processes that price floors and price caps for data and voice services are benchmarked, regularly reviewed, and determined from time to time.