Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Pantami, has vowed to ensure that prices of mobile data services go down in the country.
To this end, the minister has directed the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to work with telecom operators within one week to achieve a reduction plan.
According to him, Nigerians complain every day about costly mobile data.
“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,” the minister said when a team from the NCC visited his office in Abuja on Tuesday.
“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.
“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.”
He said that the NCC had attempted to defend telecom firms.
“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,” he added.
“The complaint from Nigerians is beyond what I can handle as it is today. People are complaining. And it happened to me. 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.
“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.
“As a regulator, the main agenda of NCC is to protect the customers; our priority should be the interest of Nigerians.”