The Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) has assured telecom consumers that the operators are not considering increase in the price of their services despite the high inflation in the economy. Executive Secretary of the Association, Mr. Ajibola Olude, gave this assurance today during a webinar organised by the International Network for Corporate Social Responsibility (IN-CSR) and the National Human Rights Commission.
In a presentation titled: ‘The role of Telecommunications Companies in Protecting Consumer Rights’, Mr. Olude said that even in the thick of the coronavirus pandemic, the operators did not increase their prices. “In the height of COVID-19 Pandemic, our members' prices remained stable and they did not take advantage of that moment, rather, they supported the government to curb the spread of the pandemic,” he said.
While noting that the telecom operators who are ATCON members have always conducted their businesses in the interest of the consumers, Olude said that the telecom companies would not abuse consumer protection laws as they see the consumers as development partners in the journey of developing Nigeria’s Digital Economy.
Describing the consumers as kings, Mr. Olude said: “Our members are working very hard to make sure that all telecom consumers have value for every kobo spent on telecom services. They have been educating consumers on how they can use their data effectively and part of that education is the fact the more apps you have on your phone the quicker your data will be consumed.”
The ATCON Executive Secretary pointed out that telecoms liberalisation in Nigeria, which ATCON played a pivotal role in actualising, paved the way for efficient and effective service delivery in the sector. According to him, “the role of telecom companies may not be appreciated without considering or evaluating the structure of the Nigerian telecommunications when it was only NITEL that serves the entire country. NITEL was owned by the government and during this time, NITEL could only boast of less than 500lines.”
He said the liberalisation led to an increase in local and international telecom financing and reduction in underserved and unserved areas.