By Ibrahim Nasidi Saal
Nigerians may have to pay more for calls and data as telecommunication companies proposed a new tariff increase of 40 per cent. They made this known in a letter sent to the Nigerian Communications Commission titled, ‘Impact of the Economic and Security Issues on the Telecommunications Sector’.
The telecommunications companies wrote the letter under the aegis of the Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria to the NCC.
According to The Daily Reality sources, the Telcos have proposed the price floor of calls will increase from N6.4 to N8.95 while the price cap of SMS will increase from N4 to N5.61.
The Telcos noted that the increase in energy costs had impacted their operating expenses by 35 per cent, Our Source added.
The Telcos, which include MTN, Glo, Airtel, and 9mobile, also said that the introduction of the recent excise duty of five per cent on telecom services had further increased the burden of multiple taxes and levies on the industry.
The letter read in part:
“As the commission may be aware, the power sector, under the supervision of its Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission of the power sector in November 2020, undertook a review of electricity tariffs to cater for the economic headwinds reported above.
“In view of the foregoing, ALTON considers it expedient for the telecommunications sector to undergo periodic cost adjustments through the commission’s intervention in order to minimise the impact of the challenging economic issues faced by our members.
“Upward review of the price determination for voice and data and SMS. Given the state of the economy and the circa 40 per cent increase in the cost of doing business, we wish to request for an interim administrative review of the mobile (voice) termination rate for voice; administrative data floor price, and cost of SMS as reflected in extant instruments.
“With respect to voice an SMS cost, ALTON respectfully requests the commission to consider a mark-up approach to address the upward price adjustment desirable for the industry. We have enclosed herein and marked as ‘Annexure 1’our proposal in that regard.
“For data services, we wish to request that the commission implements the recommendations in the August 2020 KPMG report on the determination of cost-based pricing for wholesale and retail broadband service in Nigeria. Excerpts from the report, are attached and marked ‘Annexure 2’ to provide a further illustration.
“In implementing the said recommendations, however, we recommend that the 40 per cent increase in the cost of doing business be factored in to arrive at a cost price per GB in view of the current economic situation.”