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Monday, October 21, 2019

Minister directs NCC to address costly, illegal deductions of data - ITREALMS

The Federal Ministry of Communications has directed the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to quickly address high cost and alleged illegal deductions of data from unsuspecting telecommunications subscribers in the country, reports ITREALMS.

Reacting to the report from UK-based price comparison website — Cable, Nigeria is not among the top 10 African countries with low average price of data, a position the Honourable Minister of Communications, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami finds worrisome.

He noted that considering the fact that the country has over 174 million internet users according to the report made public by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

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 (QoS) among others.

“It is on this backdrop that the Honourable Minister directed NCC, the telecom regulators as a matter of urgency to immediately work hand in hand with the telecom operators and ensure they are a downward review of the price of data in Nigeria, improved quality of service provided and also checkmate the illegal deduction of subscribers’ data,” Pantami’s Personal Assistant on New Media, Yusuf Abubakar disclosed in a press statement available to 
ITREALMS.

The Communications Minister gave this marching orders shortly after being briefed by the commission on the progress made in the implementation of the Short-Term Performance targets set for it to achieve.

He recalled that early last month, the Minister directed the commission;

I. To bring to an end the issue of sales of pre-registered, unregistered and partially-registered SIM cards; and

II. To stem the tide of illegal deduction of the data of subscribers and work towards the downward review of the cost of data; and

III. To ensure compliance with the maximum 2% Call Drop Rate directive to telecom operators.

The move, he said, was in line with President Muhammadu Buhari directives to ensure that all agencies under the supervision of a ministry are effective, efficient and accountable in the discharge of their responsibilities.

Further, Dr Pantami reminded NCC that as a regulator, their major priority should be protecting the interest of Nigerians and urged them to uphold professionalism and diligence in the discharge of their official responsibilities.

The commission also tabled challenges of the operators which includes vandalism of telecom infrastructures, inadequate power supply, right of way, hooliganism, multiple taxations among others and used the opportunity to call for the swift intervention of the Minister to address the issues.

Uboshe Uboshe/Editor

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