Telecommunications service providers under the aegis of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), have approached the Federal Government (FG) for intervention as it relates to the rising cost of diesel in the country.
Addressing journalists during a media parley, the President of ALTON, Gbenga Adebayo lamented how the rising cost of diesel has negatively impacted the association’s members’ operational costs.
While noting that network planning, operational expense, and projection plans for telcos are based on diesel prices, Adebayo maintained that there is a need for the government to intervene.
According to him, should the government fail to intervene, the telcos may be left with no other option than to begin a process of price review.
His words: “Diesel is now very expensive, from N250 to over N700. All network planning, operational expenses, and planned projection for the year are based on the fact diesel prices. This has increased. Today, you know the implication of that. This is one problem; cost has gone up.
“We will be approaching the government for some form of intervention. But we are mindful of the high cost of living, and the implication of this on the economy and citizens. And so, we are not going to talk about direct price increases.
“But we will be approaching the government for some kind of intervention to cushion the effect of these changes on us as an industry.”
Prior to this intervention call, the ALTON chief had stated that even though the diesel issue is a serious challenge for the telcos, there would not be network downtimes.
“The diesel situation is a problem at this time. We are doing all that we can to ensure the business continues as usual in all cases and other every circumstance. The assurance for the public is that there would not be a time of outage because of the current diesel crisis. What I cannot assure is that at some point there may not be a consideration for some form of tariff review.
“I cannot guarantee that it will not happen sometime in the near future. I cannot guarantee that. But as it stands today, I will reassure the public that there would be continuous service at all times,” he assured.