SERVICE PROVIDERS TO JERK UP DATA TARIFFS WITH EFFECT FROM DEC 1.

nccThe recent decision by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is beginning to generate reactions from telecomm service users across the country. many had claimed it to be a very rash decision in a challenging time like this. The Nigerian terrain today has seen almost every activity been channeled through the famous social media. This in turn has resulted to a very high demand of mobile data subscription. Inadvertedly, and also for the raise to secure and protect their customers, the networks or service providers in the country have been considerate by dropping the prices of their various data plans. But it looks as if all the data wars, awoofs and the smart prices we have been enjoying from the beginning ofr this year is about to come to an end.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has directed mobile telephone operators in the country to jerk up the prices of their respective data tariffs with effect from December 1, 2016. This seems not to be pleasing to the ears of internet customers at all. This simply means business unusual.

The President of the National Association of Telecoms Consumers of Nigeria (NATCOMS), Deolu Ogunbanjo, has said that the directive of the regulator will be counterproductive since many businesses in Nigeria at the moment depends on the internet to thrive.

“Many businesses depend on the internet as an enabler but with an increase in data tariffs, it will affect the pockets of consumers and hinder further internet penetration in the country,” he said.

In the light of this, service providers has been stylishly exonerating themselves from the action by publicly giving prior information to their customers outrightly stating the NCC’s plight. For example, MTN sent messages to its customers announcing that there would be an increase in its data tariffs on December 1.

“Dear customer, please be informed that from December 1, some MTN data tariffs
will be increased to reflect the new rates set by the NCC to operators,” The text message read.

Certainly, the NCC has the rights and backing to make reviews on policies and activities of the service providers in Nigeria. This they have been doing amazingly well so far. But this data tariff jerk up is one that seriously needs to be looked into. As we await a cogent reason for the directives from the NCC, we sincerely hope this decision be taught twice before enactment. If for nothing, but for the safety of our Small scale businesses as the Government of the day had preached to us to venture. In contrast, we know of countries that enjoy maximum free internet access and we wish for a replica in our Nigeria also.

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