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Thursday, November 28, 2019

Ministry lied on mobile data cost: Nigeria among 5 cheapest countries - ITREALMS

Latest study has shown that Nigeria is among the top five cheapest countries of the world on mobile data, ITREALMS can authoritatively report.

ITREALMS investigations, revealed that the study conducted recently by the United Kingdom (UK)-based Cableidentified Nigeria as the fourth cheapest mobile data worldwide, thereby disputing greatly the recent claims by the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy that Nigeria ranks among the highest in data price.

This study, 
ITREALMS gathered, also placed Nigeria among the top five cheapest countries as far as cost of mobile data is concerned, with estimated data costing $2.22, based on average cost of 1 Gigabyte of mobile data per country.

Further investigations by 
ITREALMS indicated that the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy lied when it recently posited that Nigeria was among the highest on cost of data, asserting “… data price being charged in Nigeria is among the highest even compared to countries that have far less population than Nigeria.”

As it stands, 
ITREALMS reports that India is leading as the cheapest country for mobile data selling at $0.26, followed by Russia with $0.91 and Italy $1.73 with Nigeria coming fourth at $2.22, followed closely by Australia with $2.47, within the top five cheapest countries.

ITREALMS further gathered that France got the 6th position with mobile data selling at $2.99, followed by Brazil at $3.50, Spain at $3.79, United Kingdom took the 9th position with $6.66 and Germany crowned the top 10 cheapest on average cost of 1GB mobile data at $6.66, among others.

Equally, 
ITREALMS gathered that some 6,313 mobile data plans in 230 countries were gathered and analyzed by Cable, within the period under review.

This report, 
ITREALMS also gathered goes to dispute the insinuation by government officials that Nigeria ranks high on cost of data, which necessitated the purported intrusive policy direction from the office of Minister of Communications and Digital Economy.

As said by the minister, in a recent press statement made available to 
ITREALMS, “the directive followed incessant complaints he received from subscribers against the telecoms companies on the high cost and illegal deduction of data, which he said he would not allow to continue… data price being charged in Nigeria is among the highest even compared to countries that have far less population than Nigeria.”

Commenting on this, some industry observers described the claim above as fake news and wondered what has become the role of Research and Development Department of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
ITREALMS notes that with a population of over 197 million, Nigeria accounts for about 47 per cent of West Africa’s population and has one of the largest populations of youth in the world, according to the World Bank.

Also, the bank said, Nigeria has Africa’s biggest economy, is the biggest oil exporter, and has the largest natural gas reserves on the continent. Nigeria emerged from a recession in 2017, with a growth rate of 0.8 per cent, driven mainly by the oil sector. Non-agricultural growth, which remained negative up to the third quarter of 2017, strengthened through 2018 with services (primarily Information and Communication Technology, ICT) resuming as the key driver.

So, economic growth is expected to hover just above 2 per cent in 2019 and over the medium term.

Remmy Nweke/Editor

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