The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has instructed the local units of Airtel and MTN to repeal the tariff increases that they imposed last week.
NCC public affairs director Reuben Muoka said that both operators had already increased voice and data rates by 10% despite only receiving provisional approval to do so from the regulator. In a statement, Muoka said: “even though the tariff adjustment was proposed and provisionally approved by the NCC management pending the final approval of board of the commission, in the end, it did not have the approval of the board of the commission. As a result, it is reversed.”
Minister of Communications and Digital Economy Isa Ibrahim Pantami added: “As 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 subscribers are not subjected to a hike in charges. The Commission will carry further consultations with all industry stakeholders on the best approaches that will protect and uphold the interest of both the consumers and service providers.”
Earlier this year, Nigeria’s Association of Licensed Telecom Operators (ALTON) proposed to the NCC that the costs of operating in the market merited a tariff increase of 40%. The NCC did not approve the proposal.
ITWeb Africa reported that neither MTN nor Airtel provided any comment on the NCC’s order.