Nigerians may pay more for data, voice calls in some states

By Ugo Onwuaso |   10 January 2020   |   3:59 am  

Telecom companies acting under the aegis of Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) said they may have no choice but increase tariffs for voice calls and data over the decision of 14 state governments to increase the cost of right of way (RoW) for telecommunication infrastructure.

Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria warned that the regime of discriminatory tariff regime may become inevitable as they operate under different conditions in some states.

Gbenga Adebayo, the chairman, lamented that some states have seen the telecoms sector as a cash cow that should be milked, adding that they come with very spurious taxes, charges, and levies.

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But this threat is coming hours after Isa Pantami, minister of Communications and Digital Economy, said he has written to state governors to comply with the national economic council’s (NEC) resolution on the Right of Way.

The states which hiked the levy are Lagos, Kano, Anambra, Ondo, Cross River, Kogi, Osun, Kaduna, Enugu, Adamawa, Ebonyi, Imo, Kebbi, and Gombe.

The RoW charge is the levy paid to state governments for laying of optic fibre on state roads.

At present, the cost of RoW on federal roads is N142 per linear metre.

The 14 states, however, increased RoW fees from between N300-N500 per linear metre to between N3,000-N6,000 per linear metre.

The new management of the Lagos State Infrastructure Maintenance and Regulatory Agency (LASIMRA) increased RoW fee from N500 per linear meter to N5,000 per linear metre.

A single telecom operator needs RoW covering thousands of kilometres.

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