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ALTON Warns of Possible Telecom Tariff Increase

The Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) has raised concerns about the sustainability of the current tariff regime in the telecom sector. According to ALTON Chairman, Mr. Gbenga Adebayo, the sector may witness an increase in telecom tariffs due to rising operating costs.

Mr. Adebayo made these remarks during a stakeholders’ meeting with Dr. Aminu Maida, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), held in Lagos State.

Adebayo emphasized the need for a price review, citing the escalating operating costs. He also pointed out that operators are grappling with a heavy tax burden, facing 52 taxes across the country under the administration of President Bola Tinubu.

Urgent Intervention Needed

Expressing concern over Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) debts owed by Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), Adebayo urged NCC Chairman Maida to intervene. The outstanding USSD debts, amounting to N200 billion, pose a significant challenge to operators.

ALTON Chairman warned that if the USSD debts are not promptly addressed, the association might resort to blocking debtor banks from accessing the service.

NCC Chairman’s Response

In response, NCC Chairman Dr. Aminu Maida assured Adebayo of stakeholder support and committed to resolving the USSD debt issue. He emphasized the importance of aligning actions with President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Agenda and following policy guidelines outlined by the Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, Dr. Bosun Tijani.

Maida acknowledged the critical role of the telecom sector in the economy and urged operators to enhance service quality and contribute to job creation in the country.

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Addressing the need for improved service quality, Mr. Anthony Emoekpere, President of the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), emphasized the importance of bridging the telecom infrastructure gap in the country.

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