Telecom operators in Nigeria like MTN and Glo, have threatened to increase tariff on data and calls.
This is because of high cost of operation in Nigeria.
They said Nigerians will likely begin to pay higher for data, voice calls, text messages, and others services.
The telecom operators blamed the planned tariff increase on the high costs of doing business as well as the cost of energy.
It also blamed this on the frequent security attacks of telecom workers which it said are hampering its operations.
The Nigerian Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) disclosed this to newsmen in a report.
It said it would implement different types of tariffs on some states it described as unfriendly so as to accommodate demands.
Chairman of ALTON, Mr Gbenga Adebayo, stated this during a chat with newsmen.
He said the operators can shelve the increase only if the sector gets intervention from government.
He said thus:
“Operators are very concerned about the rising cost of diesel and its implications on the general cost of business.
“We reaffirm our commitment to working with the security agencies in order to get necessary support for national security.
“We now need protection from sub-national government and agencies to stop the interference of smooth operations of telecom services.”
Recall that recently, the telecom operators have been at lodger-heads with the Kogi state government over levies.
ALTON had accused the Kogi state Internal Revenue Service of shutting down many of its operation sites in a clampdown.
While the Kogi state revenue body said the operators were in default of tax payments, ALTON disagreed and said the revenue body levied its members outrageously.
Consequently, ALTON said business operations in Kogi was unfavourable.
It therefore, alerted of service blackouts in Kogi and neighbouring states like Ondo, Imo, Enugu, Anambra, Abuja, Nasarawa and others.
The ALTON chairman further noted thus:
“This issue is likely to lead to a total communications blackout in the entire Kogi state.
He also said the blackout will affect “parts of Abuja and possibly impact on service availability in some parts of the following states:
“Nassarawa, Benue, Enugu, Anambra, Edo, Ondo, Ekiti, Kwara, and Niger.
“These are states sharing borders with Kogi.”
He added that its members have difficulties refueling stations and services because of the activities of Kogi state.
Mr Adebayo said the consequences of this development is that its members have been unable to refuel their power generators.
He also said that the members are equally unable to provide any support or maintenance services in the sites.
Speaking further on the impact of the outage, he said as follows:
“The impact of these outages will gradually spread to the states (neighbouring states).
He however warned that the states will experience total outages of telecommunication sites in the states.
“To the best of our knowledge, our members have settled all statutory levies and taxes due to the Kogi government.
He added that its members “have taken necessary steps to comply with local laws that govern business activities within the state.”
“ALTON and its members will no longer tolerate discriminatory charges against the sector.
“The industry is planning to begin a study on varying tariffs to some of the unfriendly telecommunications states in other to accommodate their demand.
Similarly, ALTON said the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), Directorate for Signage and Advertisement, has refused to grant telecommunication service providers permit to build infrastructure in the Federal Capital City.
IT said this also affects service delivery, and urged the Federal Executive Council to intervene on behalf of the FCDA in granting permits for infrastructure upgrade.
He therefore, warned saying “We want to be clear and state categorically that the action by Kogi and FCDA will jeopardize communication services provided by our members to Nigerian subscribers.”
What this means is that you will soon be spending more on your calls and data to surf the net.
Text messaging too will consume more money.
So, if you used to spend, say N3000 to get 10 gigabyte of data for browsing, with the tariff increase, you will spend above N3000 to get same value.
Similarly, many users in the states neighbouring Kogi may also experience telecom outages.
This will greatly affect business, communication, health and several other endeavours needing telecommunications services.