This Day (Lagos)

Nigeria: Subscribers Push for Tariff Reduction Amid Poor Service

Following the poor service quality that has bedevilled the Nigerian telecoms industry, subscribers are calling for a downward review of the tariff for voice calls across networks.

Telecoms subscribers have demanded for a further reduction in the tariff for all voice calls, following the recent reduction in the cost of Short Message Services (SMS) from N10 to N4, by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

President of the Association of Telecoms Subscribers (NATCOMS), Mr. Deolu Ogunbanjo, who made the demand, commended NCC for the recent reduction in the cost of SMS, but challenged the commission to effect such reduction in the cost of voice calls.

According to him, Nigerian subscribers deserved fair treatment from telecoms operators, and should be reflected in the cost of voice calls, which he said, ranged between N15 and N20 per minute call.

THISDAY opinion poll also revealed that the majority of subscribers are clamouring for better service quality as well as a reduction in voice call tariff. Most subscribers in Lagos and some other parts of the country that made their positions known to THISDAY, wanted the NCC to compel telecom operators to reduce tariff in voice calls and also improve on the service quality, which they said, had become a source of worry to them.

Okechukwu Philips, a student of the University of Lagos, who is a subscriber to Globacom and MTN, lamented the poor service quality from his network providers, insisting that something must be done to address the issue. He insisted that operators should further reduce tariff on voice calls, to enable subscribers pay less.

A civil servant with the Niger State government and a subscriber to MTN and Airtel, Adamu Stephen, lamented the poor service quality he was getting from his service providers, especially the difficulties he faced in recharging his mobile phones, among other issues.

He however appealed to telecoms operators to improve on their service delivery and to further reduce cost of voice calls across network, just as it was recently done with SMS.

Responding to the demand of telecoms subscribers on further reduction in voice call tariff, Director, Policy, Competition and Economic Analysis at NCC, Mrs. Lolia Emakpore, said the current review of interconnect rate among telecoms operators, was likely going to reduce the cost of interconnect rate among telecoms operators, depending on the model that the NCC would adopt.

According to her, "if the current interconnect rate of N12.80k is further reduced based on the interconnect model that the NCC will adopt, them there is the probability that the cost of voice calls will also reduce."

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