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TELECOS PROPOSE 40% TARIFF HIKE IN CALLS, DATA, SMS

As a result of rising cost of running a business in Nigeria, Telecommunication companies are proposing a 40 per cent increase in the cost of calls, SMS, and data to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NBC).

Based on their proposal, the price floor of calls will increase from N6.4 to N8.95 while the price cap of SMS will increase from N4 to N5.61.

This is contained in a letter written by the telecommunications companies under the aegis of the Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria to the NCC.

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In the letter, the telecom companies said there had been a 40 per cent increase in the cost of doing business in the nation, adding that the telecommunication industry has been financially impacted following the nation’s economic recession in 2020 and the effect of the ongoing Ukraine/Russia crisis.

They said this had resulted in an increase in energy costs, increasing their operating expenses by 35 per cent.

The companies stated that the introduction of the recent excise duty of five per cent on telecom services had further increased the burden of multiple taxes and levies on the industry.

The umbrella body for telecom companies added that to further help telcos during this economic crisis, the commission should explore and provide other means of penalising operators rather than punitive monetary sanctions; extend the payment timeline of relevant regulatory levies and fees; prevail on the Federal Government to sign the executive order declaring telecoms infrastructure as a critical national infrastructure to mitigate cost spent replacing damaged and stolen infrastructures, among other things.

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