Telcos seek tariff hike to offset soaring costs

Telecom operators in Nigeria have insisted on calls for an upward tariff review in a move to offset the soaring costs of operation and investment in the sector.

This demand comes after 11 years of stability in tariffs, during which the industry has faced significant increases in operational costs and investments in network expansion and upgrades.

This disclosure was made in a joint statement obtained on Thursday from the Association of Licensed Telecom Companies of Nigeria and the Association of Telecom Companies of Nigeria.

The associations called on the Federal Government to facilitate a constructive dialogue with industry stakeholders to address pricing challenges and establish a framework that balances consumers’ affordability with operators’ financial viability.

“Despite the adverse economic headwinds, the telecommunications industry remains the only industry yet to review its general service pricing framework upward in the last 11 years, primarily due to regulatory constraints.

“For a fully liberalised and deregulated sector, the current price control mechanism, which is not aligned with economic realities, threatens the industry’s sustainability and can erode investors’ confidence,” part of the statement read.

ALTON and ATCON expressed worries over willful vandalism and theft and other challenges mitigating the growth of the sector.

They requested the protection of assets and network infrastructure and urged the federal government to pass legislation that designates telecommunications infrastructure as critical national infrastructure.

Telecommunications infrastructure undoubtedly plays a pivotal role in Nigeria’s national security and socioeconomic growth, especially as the country currently contends with multiple security challenges that require urgent and immediate actions in response to these threats.

“Attacks on cell towers, fibre optic cables, and other critical assets disrupt telecommunications services and result in significant financial losses for operators,” telcos lamented.