Telecom operators have threatened to raise their tariffs in response to the rising cost of doing business and the safety of the country’s telecommunications infrastructure.
The Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) has also stated that it is considering varying tariffs to some “unfriendly telecommunications states” in order to meet their demands.
ALTON is an alliance of major telecommunications companies, including MTN, Glo, and Airtel.
Gbenga Adebayo, Chairman of ALTON, told journalists on Thursday in Lagos that the high cost of energy and the security of telecom workers were impeding the company’s operations.Telecom”We are concerned that unless there is an intervention to save this sector, operators will be forced to begin a price review process.”
“Operators are very concerned about the rising cost of diesel and its implications for the overall cost of doing business,” said the ALTON chair.
He stated that the government needed to do much more to keep the country safe and telecom workers safe.
“We reaffirm our commitment to collaborating with security agencies in order to obtain the necessary support for national security.”
“We now require protection from sub-national governments and agencies to prevent interference with the smooth operation of telecom services,” he said.
Concerned about the closure of telecommunications facilities in Kogi State due to disagreements over unusual taxes and levies demanded by the Kogi State Internal Revenue Service, the association stated (KIRS).
“The KIRS action was based on an ex-parte court order obtained by the KIRS over unsubstantiated allegations that our members are in default of tax payments to the state government, which is not the truth,” Mr Adebayo said.
He claimed that they had barred operators from accessing critical telecom sites.
“This issue is likely to result in a total communications blackout in Kogi State, parts of Abuja, and possibly impact service availability in Nassarawa, Benue, Enugu, Anambra, Edo, and Ondo.”, as well as Ekiti, Kwara, and Niger. “These are states that share borders with Kogi,” he explained.
Mr Adebayo stated that as a result of the state government’s actions, his members were unable to refuel the power generators or provide any support or maintenance services on the sites.
He stated that the situation had resulted in the outage of over 70 sites throughout Kogi.
“The impact of these outages will gradually spread to the aforementioned states, and if no action is taken in the next few days, a total outage of telecommunication sites in all of these states will be catastrophically experienced.”
“To the best of our knowledge,” Mr Adebayo said, “our members have settled all statutory levies and taxes due to the Kogi government and have taken the necessary steps to comply with local laws that govern business activities within the state.”
“The Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), Directorate for Signage and Advertisement, has refused to grant telecommunication service providers permits to build infrastructure in the Federal capital city,” he said of the deteriorating quality of service in Abuja.
Mr Adebayo stated that the refusal was having an impact on the quality of services in the FCT and Abuja.
He urged the Federal Executive Council to persuade the FCDA to grant infrastructure approval/permits to its members.
“ALTON and its members will no longer tolerate allegations of discrimination against the sector.”
“The industry intends to launch a study on varying tariffs to some of the unfriendly telecommunications states in order to accommodate their demand,” he said.
“We want to be clear and state categorically that,” Mr Adebayo said.
He also stated that it would have a negative impact on the use of critical communication infrastructure by national and state security agencies in carrying out their duties to provide necessary security for the country.