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NCC says telecom firms’ operating costs have risen by N265bn

Latest data from the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has shown that operating costs of telecommunication companies in Nigeria increased by N265.25 billion in one year

The figure contained in the 2021 Subscriber/Network Data Annual Report’ by the NCC showed that the operating costs rose from N1.4tn in 2020 to N1.66tn in 2021.

The report read in part, “Total operating cost for the mobile network operators increased from N1, 395,000,000,000 in 2020 to N1, 658,235,000,000 at the end of 2021. This illustrates an increase of 18.74 per cent from the figure reported in 2020.”

In April this year, telecommunication providers under the aegis of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria said the rising cost of diesel had impacted negatively on their operational costs, while asking the Federal Government for special interventions.

The President, ALTON, Mr. Gbenga Adebayo, said that the industry was worried about how the rising cost of diesel would further drive the high cost of business.

He stated that there was a need for an intervention to save the sector, noting that operators might have no other choice but to begin a process of price review.

He said, “Diesel is now very expensive, from N250 to over N700. All network planning, operational expenses and planned projection for the year is based on the fact diesel prices. This has increased. Today, you know the implication of that. This is one problem; cost has gone up.”

Adebayo added that telcos were also struggling with the availability of diesel and the logistics of delivering it to sites.

He added, “We will be approaching the government for some form of intervention. But we are mindful of the high cost of living, and the implication of this on the economy and citizens. And so, we are not going to talk about direct price increases.”

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