MTN, Airtel, Glo, Others To Increase Tariff Amid Economic Downturn

They pointed out that the telecommunications sector is the only one that has not undergone upward price review of services despite economic downturns

In order to cope with the prevailing harsh economic realities, ensure continued operation and efficiency in service delivery, telecoms operators are mulling a hike in tariff.

The operators, including MTN, Airtel and Globacom, have demanded for cost-reflective tariff in view of extant economic realities.

The telcos implored the government to tackle head-on the numerous challenges confronting the telecommunications industry.

Their demand was contained in a statement jointly released by the Association of Licensed Telecom Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) and the Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) on Thursday.

The statement was co-signed by ALTON’s Chairman, Gbenga Adebayo; and ATCON’s President Tony Emoekpere.

The telcos disclosed that telecommunications infrastructure development requires substantial investments in network expansion, maintenance, and technology upgrades.

They pointed out that the telecommunications sector is the only one that has not undergone upward price review of services despite economic downturns.

“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 liberalized 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.

“ATCON and ALTON call upon the government to facilitate a constructive dialogue with industry stakeholders to address pricing challenges and establish a framework that balances consumers’ affordability with operators’ financial viability,” the statement partly read.

Regarding the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the telcos also said regulatory neutrality and independence are crucial to ensuring a thriving telecommunications sector.

“Statutory provisions lend credence to this notion, as a lack of an impartial regulator will lead to a failure to maintain public confidence in the objectivity and independence of its decisions,” the statement added.

As Nigeria’s telecom sector grapples with the complexities of economic downturns and operational challenges, collaboration and innovation will be key to navigating the road ahead. Telecom operators, regulatory authorities, policymakers, and other stakeholders must engage in constructive dialogue to develop sustainable solutions that foster the growth and resilience of the industry while prioritizing consumer welfare and digital inclusion.

While the prospect of tariff hikes looms over Nigeria’s telecom sector, it underscores the imperative for strategic adaptation in the face of economic adversity. By striking a delicate balance between financial sustainability and consumer affordability, telecom operators can continue to drive digital transformation and empower Nigeria’s socio-economic development in the years to come.

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