Infotech

NCC rejects telecom operators’call for tariff hike

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on Tuesday disclosed that telecom operators in the country had been calling for tariff hike.

The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, who made the disclosure when a delegation of the National agency for prohibition of trafficking in persons, NAPTIP visited him in Abuja, however said the commission usually rebuffs those calls.

He said that although Nigeria has one of the lowest telecom tariffs in the world, calls for tariff hike by operators were unnecessary.

He also disclosed that the commission was working hard to ensure that more emergency centres are established in the country next year.

Speaking while receiving a delegation of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) led by the Director-General, Bar Julie Okah- Donli, he said the projects of building and equipping the emergency centres in the 36 states of the federation and Abuja are currently at various stages of completion.

“The Federal Government has mandated the commission to provide emergency communications centres in all states of the federation and Abuja. We already have 3 digit emergency line, 112, which is equivalent to 911 in other climes,” he pointed out.

Allaying the concern of high telecommunications services prices in the country, the NCC boss noted that Nigeria has one of the lowest telecom tariffs in the world.

He said the NCC has so far resisted pressure from telecom operators calling for tariff hike of telecommunications services like voice calls and internet data to protect many people from being deprived of access to communications.

“We will continue to look at the regime of fees being charged by services providers; I am talking on voice services, SMS or data service, to ensure these rates are consistent with global best practices as Nigeria cannot live in isolation.

“From time to time, we do benchmarking, so that Nigeria will not be in the forefront of charging very high prices as well as ensure that the mobile operators are not charging amounts that are unrealistic, which will make them lose their business,” he explained

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