Nigerians pay more as GSM operators plan a 40% rate

Based on their proposal, the price floor of calls will increase from N6.4 to N8.95 while the price limit of SMS will increase from N4 to N5.61.

This was revealed in a letter entitled, ‘Impact of Economic and Security Affairs on the Telecommunications Sector,’ which was seen by our correspondent.

The letter was written by the telecommunications companies under the auspices of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria to the NCC.

In the letter, the telecom companies said there was a 40 per cent increase in the cost of trading in the nation.

According to them, the telecommunications industry was hit financially after the nation’s economic recession in 2020 and the impact of the ongoing Ukraine / Russia crisis.

They said this has resulted in an increase in energy costs, increasing their operating expenses by 35 per cent.

They added that the introduction of the recent five per cent excise duty on telecommunications services has further increased the burden of multiple taxes and duties on the industry.

The letter read in part, “As the commission may be aware, the electricity sector under the supervision of its Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission of the electricity sector in November 2020 undertook a revision of electricity tariffs to address the economic violations reported above..

“In view of the above, ALTON considers it appropriate for the telecommunications sector to undergo periodic cost adjustments through the intervention of the Commission to minimize the impact of the difficult economic problems faced by our members. Details are as follows:

“Upward revision of the pricing for voice and data and SMS. Given the state of the economy and the approximately 40 percent increase in the cost of trading, we would like to request an interim administrative review of the mobile (voice) endpoint for voice; administrative data floor price, and cost of SMS as reflected in surviving instruments.

“With regard to the SMS cost vote, ALTON respectfully asks the Commission to consider a brand-new approach to addressing the upward price adjustment desirable for the industry. We have included here and marked as ‘Annex 1’ our proposal in this regard.

“For data services, we want to ask the commission to implement the recommendations in the August 2020 KPMG report on the determination of a cost-based price for wholesale and retail broadband service in Nigeria. Excerpts from the report are attached and marked ‘Annex 2 ‘to provide further illustration.

“In implementing the above-mentioned recommendations, however, we recommend that the 40 per cent increase in the cost of trading be taken into account to achieve a cost price per GB given the current economic situation.”

The roofing body for telecom companies added that in order to further assist telecom companies during this economic crisis, the commission should explore and provide other means to punish operators rather than punishing monetary sanctions; extend the payment period of the relevant regulatory taxes and fees; defeat the Federal Government to sign the executive order declaring telecommunications infrastructure as a critical national infrastructure to mitigate cost incurred by replacing damaged and stolen infrastructure, inter alia.

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