Isa Pantami, the Minister of Communications, has directed the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), to compel telecommunication service providers to reduce cost of data charges offered to Nigerians.
Pantami also ordered the companies to stop illegal deduction of subscribers’ data.
Yusuf Abubakar, the personal assistant to the minister on New Media, who disclosed this over the weekend, said Pantami issued the directives after he received a progress report on the implementation of Short-Term Performance Targets set for the NCC.
The minister was said to be worried that Nigerians were paying too much for data without value for money.
“According to the report from a UK-based price comparism website –Cable, Nigeria is not among the top 10 African countries with low average price of data, a position that the Minister of Communications, Dr Isa Pantami, finds worrisome considering the fact that the country has over 174 million internet users made public by the Nigerian Communications Commission.
“The minister also finds it unacceptable that with the prevailing high cost of data in Nigeria, the citizens still do not enjoy value for money as subscribers battle daily with illegal deduction of data, poor quality of service, among others.
“It is against this backdrop that the minster directed the NCC, the telecom regulator to immediately work hand in hand with telecom operators to and ensure a downward review of the price of data in Nigeria, improve quality of service provided and check the illegal deduction of subscribers’ data,” part of the statement by Abubakar said.
The NCC has also urged the minister to help address some challenges faced by telecommunication operators in the country.
The challenges according to the NCC, include vandalism of infrastructure, inadequate power supply, dispute over right of way and multiple taxes.