Niger calls for tariff readjustment

19 January 2023

Niger's Electronic Communication and Postal Regulatory Authority (ARCEP) has asked telecom operators to readjust the new tariff offers they implemented on 15 January.

The new tariffs for voice, SMS and data services have caused a general outcry from consumers who consider them too high.

The operators declared that they relied on Decision No. 015/ARCEP/CNRCEP/DG/22 of 31 August 2022, setting the terms and conditions applicable to retail offers from telecom operators. However, the regulator refuted this allegation, stating that “any increase observed by an operator is of its own doing, based on article 35 of the law of July 12, 2018, granting it this freedom to set retail tariffs.”

“All the operators were unanimous that it was just a matter of misunderstanding a decision that was taken six months ago, since August,” said Abdellatif Bouziani, director general of Airtel Niger, following a meeting organized by the regulator. The telecom operators have all undertaken to review their respective tariff schedules while respecting the floor price set by the regulator to offer the best tariffs and a better quality of service to consumers.

The exaggerated increase in the prices of telecom services, if not quickly corrected, could slow down the use of telecom services and compromise the development of the sector. In addition, some subscribers have called for a boycott of services provided by Nigerien telecom operators.