Telecommunication firms in Nigeria are working with their regulator, the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), to review the prices of their services in light of recent market developments, including the unification of the foreign exchange (FX) market. The Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria has emphasized the need for a price review to ensure the sustainability of the industry and reflect the cost of production.
The Central Bank of Nigeria recently implemented a new FX policy regime, removing the rate cap on the naira at the official Investors and Exporters’ Window. This move aims to bridge the gap between the official and parallel exchange rates. The telecom industry believes that this development has created the need for a price review.
The president of the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria stated that when input costs increase, prices also need to increase to maintain sustainability and the quality of service. Discussions regarding price reviews have been ongoing for some time, with previous approval granted but put on hold. However, the new Forex regime has made a price increase more essential.
In 2022, telcos wrote a letter to the NCC requesting a 40 percent hike in the price of data, calls, and SMS due to rising operational costs. They sought to increase the floor price of calls and the price cap of SMS. The telecom industry has been facing cost pressures and believes that a price review is necessary to address these challenges.
However, telecom subscribers and consumer advocacy groups are concerned about the potential price increases. With the removal of fuel subsidy and the anticipated upward review of electricity prices, increasing telecom prices would add to the financial burden on consumers and businesses. These groups argue that telecom services are essential and play a vital role in the Nigerian economy.
It is important to note that these discussions are ongoing, and any decision regarding price adjustments will involve consultations with stakeholders and regulatory approvals from the NCC.