MTN, Airtel, Others Plead With FG to Increase Call, Data Tariffs by 15%

MTN, Airtel, Glo and other telecom subscribers may soon start paying higher for calls and data as operators “earnestly” seek the federal government’s nod to increase telecom tariffs in the country.

If the telcos’ request is granted by FG, Nigerians will pay between 10% to 15% more than the current tariffs. Despite high inflation rates, telecom companies have not adjusted their prices for years. But the telcos have reduced their data value, according to many of their customers.

MTN Airtel Glo data depletion data tariff

The telecom operators had been “Pleading with the government since November to approve their request to move upward the current call and data tariffs, but don’t want them to do that until things normalize in the New Year”, a source at the ministry reported.

Asked to clarify on “until things normalize” statement, the source alluded to when the 2024 budget becomes operational and works start in earnest.

The source said there were still “Ongoing considerations and discussions to see how the increase will not affect poor Nigerians too much”.

But the NCC’s Executive Vice Chairman, Dr Aminu Maida had hinted in December that telecom operators were seeking approval to increase tariffs.

Maida told executives of Nigerian Association of Information Technology Reporters (NITRA) in his office that the government would not accede to telcos’ request for tariff review until the network was improved.  

But the President of the National Association of Telecommunications Subscribers (NATCOMS) Chief Deolu Ogunbanjo said the association would resist any attempt by telcos to review tariffs upward.

“Telecom services are poor Nigerians’ lifeline, any attempt to increase tariffs now will amount to killing Nigerians economically, and will resist it with all legal means”, Ogunbanjo said.

He claimed telcos have nothing to justify any increment as the government has already looked into their complaints of high duties, forex scarcity and others.

Source : Daily Trust

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