Telecommunication Subscribers Disagree With Telcos Over 40% Tariff Hike
…Vow To Resist Move
Fred Omotara, Lagos
The National Association of Telecoms Subscribers have rejected the planned 40 per cent tariff hike by telecommunication operators, vowing to oppose the telcos’ move to introduce a new price regime for data, calls and SMS.
Recall that the telecommunication companies had written the Nigerian Communication Commission, seeking a 40 tariff hike over rising cost of operations in the country.
However, while speaking with newsmen on Thursday, President of the association, Adeolu Ogunbanjo, stated that the association is against any move by the government to increase prices in the cost of calls, SMS, and data.
According to Adeolu Ogunbanjo, “Presently, about 71 million subscribers cannot make calls. They shouldn’t task subscribers. The telcos might have been able to absorb some of the increases they complained about if they have not been losing subscribers.
“If everything were good, the telcos would have been able to absorb some of these shocks. The SIM-NIN policy is largely to blame for the loss in revenue in the telecom industry. A lot of prior losses to the policy are to blame too. We cannot allow the telcos to increase the tariff prices. They shouldn’t be thinking of this now.”
Adeolu Ogunbanjo added that if telcos had not been losing revenue since the exercise began, they might have been able to absorb shocks by the recent hike in diesel prices.
He said, “For us, it is because they are now losing revenue. By the time you study the situation, they have been losing revenue since the SIM-NIN exercise began.
“Now, they are losing more revenue because barred lines cannot make ongoing calls which is an economic loss for subscribers as well as the mobile network operators. So why are they trying to shift that on the consumers by increasing the cost of tariffs?
“For us, it is the Federal Government and the Minister of Communications that the telcos should focus on. For instance, they should be pushing for a three to six months extension so that barred subscribers can make calls. This will at least increase their revenue stream again. The telcos should focus on the Federal Government, not the subscribers