The local branches of Airtel and MTN have been ordered by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to reverse the pricing hikes they implemented last week. Reuben Muoka, director of public affairs for the NCC, said that both carriers had already raised voice and data rates by 10% despite just having received the regulator's temporary clearance. Muoka said in a statement that despite the tariff adjustment being submitted and provisionally accepted by NCC management pending the board of the commission's final approval, it ultimately did not receive their blessing. Therefore, it is turned around.
Detailed Information on the Price Rise
The Association of Licensed Telecom Operators in Nigeria (ALTON) suggested to the NCC earlier this year that a 40% price hike was warranted due to the costs of doing business in the sector. The suggestion was rejected by the NCC. As per ITWeb Africa, neither MTN nor Airtel commented on the NCC's directive.
For instance, Airtel increased its monthly data bundle plan to N1,100 for 1.5GB of data per month, N1200 for 2GB of data per month, N1,500 for 3GB of data per month, N2,200 for 4.5GB of data per month, N2,500 for 6GB of data per month, N3,300 for 10GB of data per month, N4,400 for 11GB of data per month, and N5,500 for 20GB of data per month.
Alternatively, MTN also boosted its monthly bundle for data plan to N1,100 for 1.5GB monthly data, N1,200 for 2GB monthly data, N1,500 for 3GB monthly data, N2,200 for 4.5GB monthly data, N2,500 for 6GB monthly data, N3,500 for 12GB, N5,500 for 20GB monthly data, and N6,000 for 25GB monthly data.
Even with rising production costs, Isa Ibrahim Pantami, minister of communications and digital economy, said it is crucial that subscribers are not exposed to a spike in fees. The provision of telecommunications services is still quite profitable, he said. In order to determine the best strategies for defending and upholding the interests of both consumers and service providers, the Commission will conduct additional consultations with all industry players.