By NBF News

SOME operators of phone call centres in Lagos on Wednesday called on service providers to reduce their tariffs for them (operators) to remain in business.

Some of the operators told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the business was no longer profitable for them in view of the high tariff and low patronage.

NAN reports that Etisalat Nigeria recently came up with 25k per second (N15 per min) in 2010, while Airtel Nigeria lately came up with 20k per second (N12 per min).

The business lines used by operators of the business centres were not included in the tariff reduction.

Mr. Olaosebikan Akeem, a phone call operator in Lagos, said that some network operators charged as low as N12 per minute on subscribers' line, while the tariff for business centre operators was N15 per minute.

Akeem said: 'How can someone who can make call for as low as N12 per minute or N15 per minute on his phone patronise the business centres to make a minute call for N20?

“The tariff competition among the service providers was a welcome development, but, we want them to reduce the business lines tariff to as low as N8 per minute,' he said.

Akeem said that reduction in the business lines tariff would enable the business centre operators to make call at N10 per minute, adding that this would foster the business growth.

Another business centre operator, Miss Juliet Okonkwo, said that she has been expecting tariff reduction on the business lines to make the phone call business profitable.

Okonkwo said that the tariff competition had negatively affected the operators of business centres.

“There has been 90 per cent reduction in the numbers of those who call at our business centres since they can call for as low as 20k per second and 25k per second on their handsets,' she said.

Okonkwo urged the network operators to come to their rescue and reduce tariff on the business lines to as low as N7.20 and N8.40 per minute.

In his comment, Mr. Niyi Owoeye, who operates Gods Own Business Centre at Ketu, Lagos said that phone call business contributed to the national development and reduced unemployment rate.

'We don't know if the network operators have the business centre in mind in their tariff reduction,' Owoeye said.

He urged the network operators to reduce the tariff for business lines to make the business profitable for them.