Gbenga Adebayo, Chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ALTON), has called for an upward review of tariff charges for services offered by network providers.
Speaking during the Nigeria Telecoms Indigenous Content Expo (NTICE) 2023 which was concluded on Thursday, Adebayo stressed that the present rates for voice calls and data are unjustifiably lower than the production costs incurred by telecom companies.
In his words, Adebayo said: “We must look at a more realistic pricing for the services we offer because the current pricing is not sustainable. We are giving out the price below our production cost.”
ALTON, which serves as the overarching body for telecommunications companies including giants like MTN Nigeria, Airtel, Globacom, 9mobile, and Spectranet, has ignited conversations about the viability of the current pricing structure.
Adebayo’s call for a review echoes the growing sentiment within the industry that the current prices are undermining the financial health of telecom firms.
Furthermore, Adebayo touched on a pressing issue involving deposit money banks (DMBs) that owe Telcos N150 billion as a result of the use of Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) by their customers. Adebayo lamented that political interference has hindered network providers from taking necessary actions, despite contractual obligations not being met.
The ALTON chairman called for the suspension of access to the USSD service by Telecoms until the banks fulfill their financial obligation.
Despite attempts from various stakeholders including the Ministry of Communications, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the deadlock continues, leaving the telecom industry grappling with an intricate financial challenge.
As the telecom industry seeks a resolution to these critical matters, the future pricing landscape and financial health of network providers hang in the balance, awaiting potential transformations.