• Rewane backs proposed telephony tariff hike, gives reasons

    Rewane backs proposed telephony tariff hike gives reasons - nigeria newspapers online
    • 3Minutes – Read
    • 421Words (Approximately)

    Calls by telecommunications operators in the country for a hike in tariff are receiving more support from critical stakeholders.

    The latest backing comes from the Chief Executive Officer of Financial Derivatives Company Limited, Bismarck Rewane, who said a tariff hike was the only way to sustain telephony business growth in the country.

    Rewane, who spoke during a Channels TV programme at the weekend, justified the price increment for telecoms services, citing several factors.

    According to him, the last time there was a telecoms price review was in 2013 while the price of every other service has gone up in multiple-folds since then.

    Rewane said the current tariff regime is inhibiting the operators’ capacity to invest more in infrastructure, hence the quality of their services has been deteriorating in recent times. He added that poor telecom services would not only affect the telecoms subscribers but the economy at large.

    Rewani said: “The last time there was a tariff review for the telecom sector was 11 years ago, in 2013. At that time, we had a president by the name of Goodluck Jonathan. Ever since then, there’s been President Buhari and now President Tinubu, and the price of a bag of cement at that time was 1,800. Today that bag of cement is 7,500; it had gone higher by 4,066 per cent.

    “A bag of rice at that time was N12, 000 and now it’s up to N77, 000. That is a 525 per cent increase. The price of diesel was N196 and it went all the way to N1,900, that’s up to 1,000 per cent and now it’s down to N1,400, which is an increase of 614 per cent.

    “The Naira was exchanged at N157 to a dollar, it is N1,400 in the parallel market, a depreciation of 763 per cent. So, if you check cumulative inflation from 2013 to now, it is 387 per cent. The minimum wage then was N18, 000, today, the labour union is asking for N615, 000.”

    According to Rewane, while the telecoms sector officially contributes 10 per cent to the GDP, it is a critical form of social infrastructure and a reason people must be ready to pay the right price to enjoy the services. He added that in other countries where the right prices are being paid, they get better quality service compared to what Nigerians are getting currently.

    “Just like petrol and electricity, if you go across neighbouring countries where their income and their GDP is lower than ours how come there are no queues in Benin Republic and no breakdown in power supply even in Togo?”

    See More Stories Like This