By Emmanuel Adeleke
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said it was monitoring the deluge of reports in the media about the demand from mobile network operators (MNOs) to raise the tariffs for telecommunications services and noted the concerns expressed by the telecommunications subscribers on the hustle.
This was contained in a statement released Friday by the NCC’s director of public affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde.
According to the statement, the request made by MNOs under the auspices of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), citing the high rate of operation of their operations as the reason for their proposed rate hike, was contained in a letter addressed to the commission.
“NCC will always ensure that its regulatory activities are guided by regular empirical and cost-based studies to determine the appropriate cost (top price and floor) at which service providers are permitted to charge their subscribers for services. supplied.
“The commission will ensure that any cost determined, as a result of such transparent studies, is fair enough to enhance healthy competition among operators, provide wider choices to subscribers and ensure the sustainability of the Nigerian telecommunications industry.
“The NCC has informed telecom subscribers and allayed fears among Nigerians that the increase in tariffs will not be carried out by operators without proper regulatory approval from the commission.
“It should be noted that regulation and tariff determinations are made by the commission in accordance with the provisions of sections 4, 90 and 92 of the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA) 2003, which entrusts the commission with the protection and promotion of interests of subscribers. against unfair practices, including but not limited to; questions relating to tariffs and charges.
“The current tariff regime administered by service providers is the product of NCC’s determination for both voice and SMS in the past.
“However, while there may be justifiable reasons for MNOs to request a rate increase, it should be noted that they are not permitted to do so individually or collectively without recourse to the NCC, after the outcome of a cost study.
“Through NCC’s commitment to engendering healthy competition among licensees, the cost of services has been democratized and has become increasingly affordable for Nigerian subscribers. The regulator is even more committed to this cause to ensure that subscribers get better value for telecommunications services,” the statement said.