Daily Trust (Abuja)

Nigeria: NCC Warns Telecom Operators Against Discriminatory Tariffs

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has warned telecoms operators in the country against their planned introduction of discriminatory tariffs in states they said are "hostile" to them.

The Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria's chairman, Engineer Gbenga Adebayo had said at a recent press conference in Lagos that operators were considering jerking phone call tariffs in states where telecom masts were either attacked by hoodlums or where government slam multiple taxes on them.

But NCC said yesterday that it is wrong for telecoms operators to make some subscribers pay more no matter what.

NCC's spokesman Reuben Mouka told our reporter in a telephone interview that introduction of discriminatory charges is not within the powers of operators.

While commiserating with the operators over incessant attacks on their facilities, Mouka said the subscribers should not be made to pay for the sins of hoodlums who attack telecoms facilities in some parts of the country.

"NCC would not allow operators to introduce discriminatory tariffs in the country. It will be wrong for them to make subscribers pay for the sins of few criminal elements within them. Though we are equally sad and we commiserate with them over attacks on their facilities, we strongly believe that subscribers should not be the ones to bear the brunt," he said.

In a similar vein, the President of National Association of Telecom Subscribers Deolu Ogunbanjo said he would mobilize his members across the country to protest against discriminatory tariffs by operators.

Mr. Ogunbanjo said Nigerian subscribers are already paying more and any further price increase in some states would be resisted.

He said federal government should accord national infrastructure statue on telecom facilities across the country in order to criminalise attacks on them.

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