BY OLABISI OLALEYE
Owing to high cost of infrastructure maintenance, telecommunications service operators in the country may soon slam subscribers with a new year tariff review. However, this tariff, which could be referred to as ‘staggering’ would apply mostly in some crisis-prone states, especially in the northern part of the country.
Chairman, Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria, ALTON, Mr. Gbenga Adebayo, who disclosed this recently at an event in Lagos said this may be the way to surmount some of the challenges mitigating against telecoms firms, which on a daily basis are affecting the quality of service delivery.
He explained that the North East Zone of the country as well as state where multiple taxation, multiple regulations, and unwholesome practices abound, will have higher tariffs than states where their tariffs are lower. States like Lagos, Kwara, Ekiti and Akwa Ibom will pay less because of their friendly telecoms policy.
The ALTON chairman, appealed to other state governments to emulate Lagos, which has realised that telecoms industry is a socio-economic infrastructure rather than a source of revenue generation, saying, “Lagos state has reduced the Right of Way charges from N6,000 to N500 per square metre of road. This will enable us build a digital Lagos and make the state be ahead of other states.”
While also acknowledging the challenges being faced the telecoms operators, Chief Executive Officer, Telecoms Answers Associate, Mr. Titi Omo-Ettu, made a number of recommendations towards addressing some of the challenges in the industry.
According to Omo-Ettu, a total planning concept, which asserts that it is viable to provide service for all citizens, is best for Nigerians circumstance is recommended, noting, that a broadband plan that determines the future should be sustained.
“There is bound to be severe challenges to regulation and all associated issues must be pursued,” he said.
Omo-Ettu also urged the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to institute a technical study to examine the problems of the networks, publish the findings of the study and thereafter apply focused solution.
“A service contract that exists between a service provider and a consumer should be made more enforceable rather than the regulator stopping at fighting the quality of service war only from its own observatory and on behalf of consumers. What should matter to the consumer is Quality of Experience while the Quality of Service is left for the Regulator and the Operators to use in their relationship,” he stated.