The Nigerian Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria, ALTON, has consented to the unfavourable effects of the outrageous inflation that has increased the expenses of running the operator business. Due to the current economic turmoil, ALTON is considering reviewing the tariff package for telecom concerning other federal regulators probing its services and members.
The ALTON chairman, Mr. Gbenga Adebayo, has reportedly embarked on a research mission to discover the unfavourable telecom turmoil to understand how to resolve the unmatched tariff package per the inter-agency crisis. “Operators are very concerned about the rising cost of diesel and its implications on the general cost of business. We reaffirm our commitment to working with the security agencies to get the necessary support for national security.”
According to Adebayo, the ALTON can only amend telecom tariffs if the government and its federal agencies do not interfere with its dealings. The ALTON chairman revealed the latest encounter his agency had with the Kogi State Internal Revenue Service, KIRS, where they interrupted Adebayo’s operations over false claims of tax evasion. The dispute between the Kogi state government and the ALTON is likely to grow into a state viral blackout without a proper verdict.
“This issue is likely to lead to a total communications blackout in the entire Kogi state, parts of Abuja and possibly impact on service availability in some parts of the following states: Nassarawa, Benue, Enugu, Anambra, Edo, Ondo, Ekiti, Kwara, and Niger. These are states sharing borders with Kogi.” The ALTON chairman has reportedly declined all the charges by the KIRS defending its members of ALTON to be compliant with the state government tax policy.
“The impact of these outages will gradually spread to the states mentioned above and if no action is taken within the next few days, a total outage of telecommunication sites in all these states will be catastrophically experienced.” Nonetheless, the state government has also seized to support the members of the ALTON with electricity or maintenance services. “To the best of our knowledge, our members have settled all statutory levies and taxes due to the Kogi government and have taken necessary steps to comply with local laws that govern business activities within the state,”
Aside from the Kogi state government’s interference with members of the ALTON, the Federal Capital Development Authority, FCDA, has also restricted ALTON members from establishing infrastructures in the federal capital territory (FCT), Abuja, and other commercial hubs in Nigeria. These restrictions have reportedly hindered the growth of telecommunications services across the country.
The ALTO chairman consents the audience of the Federal Executive Council to acknowledge the importance of the FCDA’s decision to allow telecom service providers to establish social amenities or ideal infrastructure for possible development. Adebayo is keen on disregarding the discriminatory policy by external regulators which poses a setback to the telecom industry.
The telecom service providers urged ALTON to orchestrate a research program to discover the favourable tariff suitable to accommodate service providers. Adebayo’s remark clarifies that the FCDA and the state government will abstain from frustrating service providers rather than spending much more funds in the name of innovation.