By Muhammadu Sabiu
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has directed that all providers of telecommunications services roll back the increased pricing adjustments for a select number of voice and data services.
This was revealed in a statement released on Wednesday by Reuben Muoka, head of public affairs at NCC.
The commission instructed the involved Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to reverse the increased price adjustment in a letter dated October 12, 2022, adding that the service providers’ networks’ unilateral 10 per cent upward price increases for some phone and data services had been approved and put into effect.
It noted that the order was issued in order to allow for further consultation for the good of both the service providers and consumers.
“The consideration for 10 per cent approval for tariff adjustments for different voice and data packages was in line with the mandates of the commission as provided by the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003, and other extant Regulations and Guidelines, as this was within the provisions of the existing price floor and price cap as determined for the industry,” the commission said.
“The decision was also taken after a critical and realistic review and analysis of the operational environment and the current business climate in Nigeria, as it affects all sectors of the economy.
“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.
“The honourable minister of communications and digital economy, 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 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 the subscribers mustn’t be subjected to a hike in charges.”