ALTON, ATCON Urges Nigerian Government to Address Telecoms Industry Challenges in Nigeria

The Association of Licensed Telecom Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) and The Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), representing Mobile Network Operators and telecommunication companies in Nigeria, are calling upon the government to take decisive action in addressing the numerous challenges confronting the telecommunications industry.

In a statement released today by Engr. Gbenga Adebayo, Chairman Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) and Engr. Tony Izuagbe  Emoekpere, President Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), the associations underscored the urgent need for collaborative efforts between the public and private sectors to overcome obstacles hindering the sector’s growth and development. Infrastructure Deficits: ALTON & ATCON members still lack access to essential telecommunication services due to a myriad of challenges, including multiple taxation and regulations and prohibitive Right of Way (RoW) charges, inadequate electric power supply and vandalism of telecommunications infrastructure.

Protection of Assets and Network Infrastructure: Advocating for legislation that designates telecommunications infrastructure as Critical National Infrastructure (“CNI”): Both Associations expressed deep concern over the escalating security threats facing telecommunications infrastructure in Nigeria. Telecommunications infrastructure undisputedly plays a pivotal role in Nigeria’s national security and socioeconomic growth, especially as the country currently contends with multiple security challenges that require urgent and immediate actions in response to these threats. Attacks on cell towers, fibre optic cables, and other critical assets disrupt telecommunications services and result in significant financial losses for operators. The associations urge the government to prioritize the security of telecommunications infrastructure and collaborate with law enforcement agencies to enhance protection measures and combat vandalism and sabotage effectively.

Cost-Reflective Tariff of Services: ALTON and ATCON respectfully reiterate that telecommunications infrastructure development requires substantial investments in network expansion, maintenance, and technology upgrades. Despite the adverse economic headwinds, the telecommunications industry remains the only industry yet to review its general service pricing framework upward in the last (11) years, primarily due to regulatory constraints. For a fully liberalized and deregulated sector, the current price control mechanism, which is not aligned with economic realities, threatens the industry’s sustainability and can erode investors’ confidence. ATCON and ALTON call upon the government to facilitate a constructive dialogue with industry stakeholders to address pricing challenges and establish a framework that balances consumers’ affordability with operators’ financial viability.

Regulatory Independence: ALTON & ATCON advocates for the sustenance of a culture of independence in the regulatory landscape to safeguard against undue influence and unwholesome incursion into the Nigerian Communications Commission’s (NCC) or (Commission) domain, which will inspire trust in the telecommunications sector and encourage investment. Regulatory neutrality and independence are crucial to ensuring a thriving telecommunications sector. Statutory provisions lend credence to this notion, as a lack of an impartial regulator will lead to a failure to maintain public confidence in the objectivity and independence of its decisions.

In conclusion, ALTON & ATCON reaffirms its commitment to working collaboratively with the government to address the challenges facing the telecommunications industry in Nigeria. By fostering a conducive regulatory environment, prioritizing infrastructure development, enhancing security measures, and facilitating pricing adjustments, the government can unlock the full potential of Nigeria’s telecommunications sector, driving economic growth and societal development.


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