Telecommunication subscribers have rejected plans by telecom operators to introduce a state-based tariff regime for calls, data, and other telecom services.
They opined that the plan will not solve the problem that they (telcos) were trying to mitigate against.
Recently, telcos revealed that Nigerians may soon be paying different prices in different states for calls, data, SMS, as a measure to mitigate against multiple taxation and business environments across different states.
Chairman, Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria, Mr Gbenga Adebayo, had said a national tariff was no longer appropriate because the cost of providing telecom services varied across the states of the federation.
According to him, the telcos had presented their plan to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and would implement it once given approval, adding that when implemented, the rates for calls would differ across the states.
However, President of the National Association of Telecoms Subscribers, Adeolu Ogunbanjo, told the PUNCH that subscribers would kick against any attempt by telcos to introduce state tariffs.
He said, “We are not going to agree to that. We should be fighting the cankerworm (multiple taxation together), not this. Why do they want to add to our (subscribers) burden.”
He further said that subscribers were also fighting against multiple taxation by the government, and were presently in court to ensure that the Federal Government, by an act of parliament, strikes out a provision of the Finance ACT that empowers the government to place excise duty on telecom services.
According to him, any president could still implement the provision of the law despite the present waiver granted to telecoms services by this current administration.
Telcos have been clamouring for an increase in tariff to cushion the effects of an economic downturn, multiple taxations, high operating costs, and more in recent times. In 2022, they pushed for a 40 per cent hike in tariff.
Recently, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, stated that there were about 46 different taxes directed at the telecom sector.