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CPC, subscribers battle Telcos over tariff hike

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Consumer Protection Council (CPC) and the National Association of Telecoms Consumers of Nigeria (NATCOMs) have warned telecoms service providers in the country against hiking the tariff of telecoms services.

They spoke against the backdrop of plans by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to begin the implementation of one of the provisions of Cybercrime Act 2015 which made provision for the collection of 00.05 per cent levy on all electronic transactions to be deposited into a National Cyber Security Fund account.

Consumer Protection Council said it was unfair practice if the operators go ahead to put the cost of the service consumers did not enjoy on them by way of its threat to increase enterprise and retail services in the sector.

NATCOMs on the other hand, warned the telcos against any tariff increase, lamenting that it would add to the burden of the already over-burdened subscribers in the e-payment sector if implemented.

Babatunde Irukera, director-general, CPC, said “What consumer will accept is fair and transparent reason that directly accepts the service they enjoyed. We are not comfortable with the operators to transfer the cost of their business that does not associate with the service they provide that we will not accept.

“So I think the telcos should seek redress on the CBN’s directive to the banks on the collection of 0.005 per cent levy on all electronic transactions into a National Cyber Security Fund account and not make subscribers to pay the running cost of their business,” he said.

Also speaking, Chief Deolu Ogunbanjo, president NATCOM, said “The 00.05per cent e-transaction implementation will be a direct burden on the already laden subscribers in the telecoms sector.

“Please, operators should work with the industry regulator (Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) and ensure that government is not adding more responsibility that will in-turn be transferred on subscribers. I am so sure the Cyber Crime bill did not say telecommunication subscribers should be ripped off.”


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