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Nigerian govt directs Telcos to reverse 10% hike in calls, data prices



The Federal Govenment might have triggered a showdown with the telecommunications sector after ordering the reversal of the implementation of the newly approved 10% hike in tariff for voice and data services.

This was revealed by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on Wednesday, in a statement titled, “FG Directs Network Service Providers to Reverse Unilateral Upward Tariff Adjustment,” issued by the NCC’s Director, Public Affairs Reuben Muoka on Wednesday.

While noting that the tariff increase was due “in line with the mandates of the Commission as provided by the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003, and other extant Regulations and Guidelines,” the implementation has been halted.

“Furthermore, 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.

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“The Honourable Minister, Prof. 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 he obtained the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari for the suspension of the proposed 5% 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.

“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 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.”

Due to rising production costs, telcos have been pushing for a price rise review of their services since the beginning of the year.

The Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria has informed the NCC that the cost of operating telecoms has grown by 40% as a result of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

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