The Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) has described the quality of service being rendered by Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) in the country as one of the best globally. Chairman of the Association, Engr. Gbenga Adebayo, who stated this said this was in spite of the peculiar challenges in the operating environment.
Reacting to claims that the telecoms regulator might have been lax in sanctioning the operators over quality of service, Adebayo said, ‘’in the first place, we make bold to state that the quality of telecoms services in Nigeria is amongst the best in comparable jurisdictions, despite the challenges our members face in their day-to-day operations. Secondly, it is remarkable that despite the extremely high cost of providing services in Nigeria, the telecoms industry is the only sector where charges have been stable (even falling)’’, Adebayo said in a statement.
According to him, the NCC had on several cases imposed heavy sanctions on telecoms operators for infractions. “While ALTON often disagrees with the NCC on some of these sanctions, it would be unfair for anyone to suggest that the Commission has been lax or overly accommodating of breaches of any kind” he said.
Adebayo added that aside the normal regulation, the MNOs on daily basis do battle the State, Local Government agencies that aggressively harass them to pay both legitimate and illegitimate taxes and levies which runs to several million Naira in some cases, adding that despite this they still provide quality services to consumers. “They daily contend with high costs of diesel, frequent theft of equipment, etc. without increasing tariffs. It is on record that the cost of building one BTS site in Nigeria will build three similar structures in Ghana. Despite all of these, our subscribers pay far less tariffs per minute than they paid five years ago, and data charges have continued to fall over the years as we struggle to democratize access to life-changing telecoms services. Indeed, we challenge the Punch to name any other service that has resisted inflationary trends as telecoms service. Not even the price of pure water has been as stable as telecoms services. ALTON members and the industry regulator deserve commendation for this feat, not scurrilous condemnation’’ he said