Prices for internet data services in Nigeria has been increased by about 10 percent.
This was announced by the Nigerian telecommunication companies, MTN(@MTN180) and Airtel (@AirtelNigeria) on their verified Twitter pages on Saturday.
The recent 10 percent hike is still less than the 40 percent increase in the cost of calls, SMS, and data initially proposed by telecommunication companies under the aegis of the Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria
In a letter to the Nigerian Communications Commission, the telecom companies had said that there had been a 40 percent increase in the cost of doing business in the nation, which necessitated the proposed increase in services.
The telecommunication companies said “Given the state of the economy and the circa 40 per cent increase in the cost of doing business, we wish to request for an interim administrative review of the mobile (voice) termination rate for voice; administrative data floor price, and cost of SMS as reflected in extant instruments.”
However, the NCC responded that there was a need to follow certain processes before an increase could be implemented.
During the inaugural meeting of the Presidential Committee on Excise Duty for the Digital Economy Sector in Abuja, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, said that with the increase in operating costs due to inflation and rising diesel, among others, there were more than 15 attempts to increase the price of telecommunication services within three years, which he kicked against.
The minister also noted, that “In spite of the contributions and achievements of the sector, we have been recording some challenges coming up from time to time that if care is not taken these challenges could be a barrier to the development of this sector in the next few years to come. One of them is the issue of excessive taxation and sometimes, multiple taxations in the sector.”