Telecommunications companies in Nigeria have complied with the directive of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) concerning the cost of SMS across the various networks.
On Tuesday, various companies officially switched to the new tariff plan of 4 naira per SMS for all off-net text messages from 10 naira per SMS.
The new plan represents a 60 percent reduction in cost and was introduced in January by the regulatory body of the nation’s communications sector.
It only covers SMSs sent to networks operating in Nigeria, with messages sent to foreign networks still costing.
The NCC’s Director of Legal and Regulatory Services Josephine Amuwa said the commission is not yet setting a price cap for text messages sent to international lines.
She added the commission reached the current price after extensive consultations with representatives of the various telecoms companies.
“Having evaluated and analysed SMS traffic information provided by the operators, the commission noted that there was a general recognition that the cost of SMS is too high, especially in view of the interconnection rate of N1.02 for SMS as determined by the commission in 2009,” she said.
She insisted that the NCC would monitor compliance by the operators, and noted that failure to comply with the determination would be penalised.
Some subscribers who spoke with ThisDay on the cost reduction hailed the NCC for its directive, as well as the operators for complying.
“This is a good development in the telecoms sector and we need more of it,” Azuka Philip, a Globacom subscriber, said.