Earlier in the week, the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) ordered telecom providers (MTN and Airtel) in the country to reverse the 10 percent increase in tariff plans which they implemented last week.
NCC reversed the hike in data and voice tariffs after telecom subscribers called out the providers for increasing its services without prior notice. This breeds the question of whether telecom operators can increase tariffs at will.
State of play
Under the provisions of Sections 4, 90 and 92 of the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA) 2003, Nigeria’s constitution entrusts the NCC with the authority of protecting and promoting the interest of telecom subscribers of which tariff hikes fall under the jurisdiction.
- Therefore, regulatory procedures uphold that telecom providers embark regularly on an empirical and cost-based study to determine the appropriate cost to charge subscribers.
- The findings of this study determine the next step for the telecom regulator.
Why this matters
One of the duties of the NCC is an oversight over the telecommunication industry and neglecting its duty would result in unfavorable situations such as the hike in tariffs without proper procedures.