Telecommunications operators (telcos) have argued that the only approach to continue development in the telecom sector in this economic headwind is to modify tariffs to reflect operation costs two months after writing to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) asking for tariff adjustment.

They are pleading with the regulator to recognise that giving in to their demands will stop the widespread income loss among the telecoms and stabilise the industry to continue significantly contributing to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth.

The telcos explained their positions at a special reception organised by the industry stakeholders under the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) in Lagos. 

ATCON used the occasion to introduce Maina to prominent business figures and promise its support for the Nigerian telecom sector.

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ATCON president’s remarks 

Mr. Tony Izuagbe Emoekpere, President of ATCON, stressed the association’s dedication to collaborating with the NCC. 

“I welcome Dr Aminu Maina as our industry’s Executive Vice-Chairman (EVC),” he remarked. We host all of the critical stakeholders at ATCON as part of our customs, and we consider the NCC EVC one of our sector’s most critical stakeholders. 

We occasionally do this, and having him here is truly an honour and a delight. 

We promise to cooperate with the Commission in the same manner as before.”

He emphasised the long-standing function of ATCON in advancing business interests and encouraging communication between operators and regulators.

Several prominent figures in the sector conveyed well wishes and expressed their backing for Dr Maina’s guidance in the interim. 

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Issues faced by telcos 

They also outlined some of the industry’s major issues, such as price limitations, energy prices, and various taxation.

Mr Amida Azizi, MD/CEO of Pan African Tiles, one of the top executives in the sector, stated: “First, I suppose most of us didn’t know what to expect when EVC got appointed. All we heard about was the exploits he had made in his past appointments, but ever since you arrived, I believe you have demonstrated your clarity about your drive and desire to work with the industry. This has been evident in our occasional engagements; we are sincerely grateful for them.

“We think a lot has changed since you took on this role. You provided a listening ear and a balanced governance approach, which is uncommon, and we value that.

A few significant developments in the industry are still anticipated. 

“It sounds like a broken record once more. Price caps have long been a significant problem. 

“We use more than 50 million litres of diesel per month in this industry alone; those issues require your intervention,” he concluded.