Call tariff: ALTON to present cost-based proposal to NCC

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Telecommunication companies under the aegis of Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria are proposing a cost-based tariff for voice calls in the country.

ALTON, however, denied speculations that there would be a tariff increase for voice calls saying the new model would reflect the cost of doing business.

Speaking on the development, the Chairman, ALTON, Gbenga Adebayo, said it had started putting together necessary information on the cost of doing business in the country and would advocate for a review of the existing tariff model.

According to him, the base price tariff that is currently operational does not consider the multiplicity of taxes and levies in the telecom industry.

He said, “We are asking that tariff should be cost-based and for that to happen we need to understand what are the costs that are being incurred due to multiple taxation and consequently, relate that to the tariff that will be charged in those areas. That is actually what the conversation is about.

“We are going to be approaching the NCC with all the cost information and we are going to be requesting through the established protocols for a cost-based tariff. We will not be right to say it is an increase in tariff but tariff that will reflect the cost of service provision.”

“There is a base price, a minimum bottom price- that has been determined by the NCC and that is based on general cost of service provision and operating expenditure and recurring cost. It certainly doesn’t consider issues of taxation and levies. “

The President, Association of Telecom companies of Nigeria, Olusola Teniola, explained that a cost-based pricing would not necessary increase call tariff for consumers.

“The cost-based pricing may be sent to NCC for adoption. That doesn’t suggest increase in prices to the consumers,” he added.

Over the years, network operators have raised the alarm over arbitrary taxes and levies imposed on telecoms infrastructure in certain states and subsequent shutdown on Base Transceiver Stations over failure to comply.

In January this year, MTN expressed concerns regarding the shutdown of its facilities in Kogi State over allegations that it had not met its tax obligations to the state government.

The company alleged that the state government was demanding immediate payment of social service contribution levy, employee development levy and annual rent for Right-of-Way on fibre optics cable, saying payment would amount to multiple taxes.

Also in 2018, the ALTON complained of the sealing of hub telecoms stations of its members due to failure of operators to comply with the payment of about 36 statutory and non-statutory taxes and levies in Kogi State.

At a press conference in Lagos, Adebayo, had explained that members of the association had settled all statutory levies and taxes due to the Kogi State Government and had taken necessary steps to comply with local laws that govern business activities within the state.

He alleged that an attempt by the Kogi State Government to increase its internally generated revenue would lead to total communication blackout in Kogi State and parts of Abuja, Nassarawa, Benue, Enugu, Anambra, Edo, Ondo, Ekiti, Kwara, Niger State.

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