Telcos Request Tariff Adjustment, Appeal to NCC for Understanding

Telecom Operators Seek Tariff Adjustments Amid Economic Challenges
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Telecommunications companies in Nigeria have insisted that adjusting tariffs to reflect their operational costs is necessary to sustain growth in the sector amidst the current economic headwinds.

The telecom operators, under the umbrella of the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), have appealed to the industry regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), to approve their request for cost-reflective tariffs.

"If providers cannot operate sustainable business models, then they stop investing. When that happens, the existing infrastructure starts to crumble," said ATCON President Tony Izuagbe Emoekpere.

He emphasized that the current tariff regime is inadequate to cover the costs of service provision and urged regulatory bodies to address the industry's challenges.

The call for tariff adjustments comes two months after the telcos first wrote to the NCC demanding a review. Industry leaders argue that the move is necessary to arrest the prevalent loss of revenues and ensure the telecom sector can continue to contribute significantly to Nigeria's GDP growth.

"The fundamentals of the telecom industry have become unattractive because of the return on investment," said Bismarck Rewane, CEO of Financial Derivatives Company. He highlighted the urgent need for fresh investments to upgrade infrastructure and improve services.

The ATCON event also served as a platform to introduce the new Executive Vice-Chairman of the NCC, Dr. Aminu Maina, to industry stakeholders. Emoekpere pledged ATCON's commitment to continue working with the regulator.

Several industry leaders expressed support for Dr. Maina's leadership, while also highlighting key challenges facing the sector, such as price caps, energy costs, and multiple taxation.

The telecom operators' appeal for cost-reflective tariffs underscores the financial pressures they are facing, which they argue could jeopardize the sector's growth and service quality if not addressed.

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