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Why Telecom Companies Considered Raising Tariffs Amid Economic Crisis

Why Telecom Companies Considered Raising Tariffs Amid Economic Crisis

Nigerians may have to pay more for call and data services as the four telecommunications companies in the country – GLO, MTN, Airtel and 9Mobile – are considering an increase in their tariffs.

Gbenga Adebayo, the chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), and Tony Emoekpere, President of the Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), announced in a joint statement that they were willing to review prices to reflect the country’s economic realities.

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The associations stated that an upward review of their prices was necessary, as they were the only industry yet to do so in 11 years.

“ALTON and ATCON respectfully reiterate that telecommunications infrastructure development requires substantial investments in network expansion, maintenance, and technology upgrades.

“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,” the statement reads.

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“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.

“Telecommunications infrastructure undisputedly plays a pivotal role in Nigeria’s national security and socioeconomic growth, especially as the country currently contends with multiple security challenges that require urgent and immediate actions in response to these threats.

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“Attacks on cell towers, fibre optic cables, and other critical assets disrupt telecommunications services and result in significant financial losses for operators.”

If the government approves the increase, this will be the latest in the list of things Nigerians have to pay more for in the midst of the current economic crisis.

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