Nigerians Decry the Nearly 350% Increase in Data Price Come Dec 1st 2016

by Uche Onegeria 30 Nov , 2016  

 This 350% increase in data price which amounts to a floor data plan of 0.90 Kobo per MB has been implemented by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) effective December 1st, 2016.

Small operators and new telecommunications companies like Spectranet, Ntel and Smile might still price their data plan below 0.90 Kobo per MB. NCC defines “small operator” as one that has less than 7.5% market share and new telecommunications as one that has operated for less than three years.

They expect that this floor data implementation plan will control pricing in telecommunications industry so that the bigger companies do not muscle the smaller ones with their predatory pricing. In essence, they hope it would checkmate a monopoly.

With this 350% increment, the struggling smaller operators with their bigger tariffs ranging from 58 Kobo to 84 Kobo and the bigger companies 21 Kobo (Globacom) to 94 Kobo (Etisalat) will all level up to that price. This will in turn cause more difficulties for most Nigerians who are already struggling in almost every aspect of their lives (Fuel, Unemployment, High tuition, Taxes, Food, Power etc.)

Also, the Wailing Wailers, who advocate for Advancement, Development and sustenance of Democracy in Nigeria, have pleaded with the Federal Government, the Nigerian Communication Commission, NCC, and Telecommunication companies to abort the planned data price increment. They allege that there is a political agenda behind this data price increment.

 

Find below an excerpt from a statement signed by Usman Abubakar who warned that such erratic action would lead to a violation of of democracy and freedom of speech.
“Our attention has been drawn to the sinister siege on the Nigerian people and plot against their interest by the Federal Government of Nigeria. This plot, led by President Muhammadu Buhari is being executed by one of the government’s agencies, Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) who reportedly, has directed all the telecommunication companies in the country to increase their DATA Services Tariff by 200%. If this is allowed to work, 1.5 Gig which presently costs N1,000.00, will then go for N3,000.00, meaning an extra N2,000.00.”

“This is sheer insensitivity and callousness being demonstrated by the Buhari administration, the same government, we believe, purposely created this economic crisis and hardships in order to arrogate ‘Absolute Powers’ to himself.”

Image result for nigeria data plan companies

“Since Buhari became the President, his policies has been wrecking the economy of the nation. Nigerians may not know that Buhari is weaponising poverty to enslave the people, and render them powerless to demand accountability from him. Recall that few days ago, one of his aides, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele proposed that the Government should begin to tax Nigerians who make phone calls above 3 minutes. In the same vein, Buhari’s cabinet, Minister of Information Mr. Lai Mohammed complained that Social Media has been the bane of their government”

“ Previously, Buhari had tried to suppress the Social Media via the Senate, but the bill was thrown out after a widespread public rage. Let It be known that if Buhari’s government is moving in the right directions, no one will criticize the Government on social media. If the Nigerian youths are provided with employments as they promised during their campaigns, they will not be bothered about criticizing the administration; they will rather focus on the strengths, achievements and accomplishments of the Government if there is any.”

“But, there is not one visible achievements of this Government, on which they should be commended. We see all their public utterances as a reflection of the whims and caprices of their master Buhari who seems bent on driving Nigeria aground. Adding insult to injury, NCC has instructed all Telecommunication companies to increase their data tariffs at the expense of the currently suffering Nigerian people. This is without considering all the economic hardships scourging the people, in the country. The whole device, plot, purport, is to make it difficult for the citizens to be able to say out their opinions, thereby lose their voices; which they can only do through the instrumentality of the social media to call government to account for any abuse of office or power. The Government of President Buhari is taking every desperate steps and measures to suppress the voice of Nigerians.”

“We again ask, if the Government of Buhari encourages Telecommunication companies to increase their Tariffs on Data services, what is then the gain of the Privatization of the Telecommunications in the era of Chief Obasanjo? Privatization is to allow competition to regulate prices, and it should bring prices down for the benefit and the advantage of the Nigerian citizens.”

“Furthermore, the TELECOMS did not cry out to Buhari’s Government to say that they want a price or tariff increment. We also thought that the Government ought to be concerned with negotiating a fair and better deal for the benefit and the advantage of the citizens. However, Buhari and his cronies see the Social media as a threat to his incompetent government. This has informed his decisions to instruct Telecoms to hike up their prices and tariffs to frustrate millions of Nigerians away from the Internet and deny the people access to Social Media.”

“It is sad that President Buhari is not seeing the positive side of the criticisms against his administration, but rather, wants to clamp down on critics at all costs. It is also sad that Nigeria is lagging behind in the ICT world, where ICT companies are coming up with a more cheaper means of making internet easily accessible, portable and available to millions of people all over the world and to reach more people globally at near zero cost.

We call on the Nigerian Senate and the House of Representatives to stop the government from this dastardly act against the people. One wonders, why any reasonable government would want to fix price for private companies against the interest of its citizens. Regulator (in this case the government) should not meddle with private companies pricing, except where such companies operates a price regime that is disadvantageous to the, and that also rips people off.”

“The excuse given by the government is unfounded, untenable, unscrupulous, as it carries no weight and not sensible to all that have critically looked at it. It is nothing other than a ploy to cut the people off from the internet because Buhari and his cronies feel threatened by the people’s agitations on social media.”

It is really sad that instead of supporting Nigerians especially youths by subsidising utilities like internet and power, the government just sits by and lets everything go to hell all around them.

Read More www.thecable.ng and www.vanguardngr.com

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