Nigerians would soon smile as mobile data services would soon go down. This was made known on Tuesday, 5th November 2019, by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy (CDE), Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami.
The Minister directed the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to work in concert with telecom operators within a time frame of one week to achieve the reduction in the cost of data plan.
Pantami disclosed this when the NCC team led by its Board Chairman, Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye team paid him a visit to his office was.
He informed that he had been inundated with complaints by Nigerians who pay so much for data that hardly lasts.
He was quoted saying “I am urging the management of NCC to work towards reducing the price of data in Nigeria.
It is too costly and people are complaining every day.
If you go to other countries, even countries that are not as largely populated as Nigeria, data prices are not this high.
I am also a victim of some of the infractions that are so common in the industry".
The Minister further added that "you load your data, but you barely use 20 per cent of it and the entire data is wiped off.
Illegal data deduction is one of the issues that worry me badly today.”
In a swift reaction to an attempt by the NCC team to defend the telecom operators, Pantami opined that “I was not fully convinced by the explanation. Please go, sit down and review that issue. It is very important and I want to get your feedback with that report in the next five working days with the decision on it." Pantami stated.
According to the Minister, the complaint from Nigerians is beyond what he can handle as it is today. People are complaining.
And it happened to me(Pantami).
I recharged my data line and used it, and I believe that what I used was not up to 20 per cent of what I purchased when it was wiped off, so that is an issue that is very important".
Finally, the Minister informed his position as “I directed NCC to reduce the price of data downward.
It is very important.
Go and look at other African countries that do not have population like ours, even 20 per cent of our population; go and see the price of data there".
It is a known fact that NCC, as a regulator, its main agenda is to protect the customers; as such, its priority should be the interest of Nigerians.
Pantami applauded NCC leadership for its achievements, especially in five per cent broadband penetration and the de-activation of pre-registered and unregistered SIM cards in the country.
He urged the commission to go a step further by ensuring that 3G and 4G technology are expanded in Nigeria.
As the interaction was ending, Pantami urged the new board member to key into President Muhammadu Buhari’s programmes, which he described as anchoring Possible time