- Globacom (Glo) subscribers may soon be unable to call MTN phone numbers due to unpaid interconnect fees.
- The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) announced in a notice that it had partially approved Globacom's disconnection from MTN Nigeria. Glo customers will be able to receive calls but not make calls to MTN after ten days from the date of this notice.
- The NCC states that after ten days from the date of this notice, Glo customers will no longer be able to make calls to MTN but will be able to receive calls.
This news comes as Nigerian telcos seek approval from the federal government to increase tariffs to alleviate high operating costs. If approved, this could lead to subscribers paying a 10 to 15 per cent hike over the current tariffs.
Gbenga Adebayo, the chairman of the Association of Licenced Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), asserts that if the current tariffs are not changed, the country’s telecom sector may not survive.
Although there are ongoing discussions about how the increase may affect subscribers, the NCC insists that telcos must provide reasons for the tariff hike.
Nigerian telecom operators have encountered challenges over the years. The Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) has consistently decried the multiple taxes imposed on telecom operators by the federal, state, and local governments.
In November 2023, Adebayo revealed that the telecom operators now contend with increased taxes and levies, rising from 41 to 52. He confirmed that multiple taxation is still a problem in Nigeria's telecom industry, and operators have tried to raise this issue with the government. But the problem has received little or no attention.
Subsequently, with the surge in diesel prices in August 2023, the cost of powering communication networks escalated from ₦36 billion to ₦38 billion per month. Telecom experts consistently emphasised that the rising costs of inputs posed a threat to the sector's sustainability.
Several African countries have reported similar incidents. On January 1, 2024, Egypt's telecom companies increased their rates by 10% to 15%. MTN Ghana also implemented a 15% price increase across voice, SMS, data, and broadband services.