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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Data tariff increase: A retreat to pre-2001 era – NATCOMS

… berates NCC over lack of due diligence

The National Association of Telecommunications Subscribers (NATCOMS) has described the latest data tariff increase by some telecom operators as a retreat to pre-2001 era, reports ITRealms.

NATCOMS also accused the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) of lack of due-diligence prior to the purported approval to operators to hike the data tariffs, which was not also specific on the percentage of increment expected to take effect from December 1, 2016.

As at the press time, ITRealms gathered that MTN and Etisalat have already sent out millions of text messages to their subscribers informing them of the NCC data increase directive.

National President and Secretary General of NATCOMS, Chief Deolu Ogunbanjo and Prince Bayo Omotubora, noted in a press statement made available to ITRealms that the increment in data tariff is coming when the 9 per cent Communication Service Tax (CST) bill is still before the National Assembly.

They alleged that this increase is to test the waters by way of knowing the reactions of Nigerian telecom subscribers, prelude to the main thing, which is the suspected 10 per cent.

“NCC did not do due-diligence and did not carry out any consultation whatsoever, through any of their Consumer Engagement Platforms, like  the NCC Telecoms Consumer Parliament – for Urban Centres;  the NCC Consumer Outreach Programme – for Sub-Urban Centres;  and the NCC Consumer Town Hall Meeting – for Rural Areas, before this insensitive anti-consumer move,” NATCOMS laments.

The group further said that the directive is ill-advised, illegal and parades all features of economic adversity and should be withdrawn forthwith.

Chuks Egbune/GEE

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