The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) at the weekend urged telecommunication companies to reciprocate the reduction in the charges on Right of Way (RoW) by reducing data charges to Nigerians.
Its Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, stated this while addressing participants at the maiden virtual edition of the Telecoms Consumer Parliament (VTCP) at the NCC headquarters in Abuja.
Danbatta noted that considering the steps the Federal Government had taken to reduce the charges of RoW below N145 per linear metre while some states waived the charges outright, it had become necessary for operators to reciprocate the gesture.
“The commission is hopeful that with the reduction in RoW, which will automatically result in reduction in capital expenditure (CAPEX) by the network operators, telecom companies will sooner or later reciprocate the gesture by making their services, in particular, data services, more affordable to Nigerians,” he said.
The NCC boss said the event, with the theme: Impact of COVID-19 on Telecoms Service Delivery, considered the dynamics of the global pandemic and the directives from the Federal Government on social distancing and other measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Danbatta said the National Assembly also provided an opportunity for industry stakeholders to examine how the pandemic was impacting service delivery in the telecommunication industry, which currently provides the digital platform for the economy to remain afloat.
“As we all are aware, telecoms is highly capital intensive and, as such, continuous network upgrade and expansion are very key to operators’ ability to deliver top-notch Quality of Service (QoS) to their consumers.
“For instance, if operators are not able to expand or they are incapacitated to expand and upgrade their network in the face of spike in traffic, as occasioned by the pandemic, it will definitely have potential grave impact on quality of service delivery.”Despite the pandemic and the lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19 virus, we on our part have also not relented to ensure that the quality of telecom services is sustained during and post COVID–19 period,” he said.