NCC Reverses 10 Percent Tariff Hike On Voice, Data Services

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has reversed the unilateral increase of voice and data services by some Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), saying the Board of the Commission didn’t approve it.

In a statement in Abuja by Reuben Muoka, the Director of Public Affairs of the Commission, he recognised the operating environment, which gave rise to the upward tariff adjustment but insisted that before an increase, the body must follow all processes for such approval.

“The consideration for 10 per cent approval for tariff adjustments for different voice and data packages was in line with the mandates of the Commission as provided by the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003, and other extant Regulations and Guidelines, as this was within the provisions of the existing price floor and price cap as determined for the industry.

“The decision was also taken after a critical and realistic review and analysis of the operational environment and the current business climate in Nigeria, as it affects all sectors of the economy,” the NCC added.

The statement reads: “The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, has maintained that his priority is to protect the citizens and ensure justice to all stakeholders involved. As such, anything that will bring more hardship at this critical time will not be accepted.

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“This was also why he obtained the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari for the suspension of the proposed 5 per cent excise duty, in order to maintain a conducive enabling environment for the telecom operators. Much as there is an increase in the cost of production, the provision of telecom services is still very profitable, and it is necessary that the subscribers are not subjected to a hike in charges.

“In view of the above, the Commission, through a letter sent on the 12th of October 2022, has already directed the affected Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to reverse the upward tariff adjustment. The Commission will carry out further consultations with all industry stakeholders on the best approaches that will protect and uphold the interest of both the consumers and the service providers.”