Current telecom tariff regime inhibiting operators – Rewane

Chief Executive Officer of Financial Derivatives Ltd, Bismarck Rewane, says the current telecom services tariff regime is inhibiting the operators’ capacity to invest more in infrastructure.

Recall that recently, Association of Licensed Telecom Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) ) and the Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria (ATCON said members are considering raising the prices of their services, including voice calls and data.

The group maintained that the current price control mechanism is out of sync with economic realities, threatening the industry’s viability and potentially undermining investor confidence.

Commenting on the issue, Bismarck said tariff hike is the only way to sustain the businesses, noting that quality of their services has been deteriorating in recent times.

“The last time there was a tariff review for the telecom sector was 11 years ago, in 2013. At that time, we had a president by the name of Goodluck Jonathan. Ever since then, there’s been President Buhari and now President Tinubu, and the price of a bag of cement at that time was 1,800. Today that bag of cement is 7,500, it has gone higher by 4,066 per cent.

“The Naira was exchanged at N157 to a dollar, today, it’s N1,400 in the parallel market, a depreciation of 763. So, if you check cumulative inflation from 2013 to now, it is 387 per cent. The minimum wage then was N18,000, today, the labour union is asking for N615,000.”

According to Rewane, while the telecom sector officially contributes 10 per cent to the GDP, it is a critical form of social infrastructure, hence, people must be ready to pay the right price to enjoy the services.