NCC Directs Telcos To Reverse Tariff Hike On Data, Voice Services
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has ordered all telecommunications services providers to reverse the upward tariff adjustments for some voice and data services.
The NCC director of public affairs, Reuben Muoka, disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday.
The commission, through a letter dated October 12, 2022, directed the affected Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to reverse the upward tariff adjustment.
According to the commission, the unilateral 10 percent upward tariff adjustments for some voice and data services by the service providers on their networks had been approved and implemented.
The commission, however, said the reversal is to allow 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.
“The consideration for 10 percent 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 honorable 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 percent 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.”
The commission, however, added that it will continue to entrench very transparent processes and procedures for rate determination in the industry.
“The process is usually carried out with wide industry consultation. It is through these processes that price floors and price caps for data and voice services are benchmarked, regularly reviewed, and determined from time to time,” it added
“The commission will continue to abide by this time-tested process and international best practice to ensure efficient pricing mechanisms for the telecommunications industry in Nigeria.