Nigerians have reacted angrily to the recent directive by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to telecom operators to increase the tariff for data services, with several of them calling on the National Assembly to intervene in the matter.
In reaction to the NCC directive, MTN has started sending out bulk messages to its subscribers alerting them of the planned increase. The text message read: “Dear customer, please be informed that from 1st Dec, some MTN data tariffs will be increased to reflect the new rates set by the NCC to operators. Thank you.”
Sources indicate that the new rate could see subscribers of MTN, GLO, AIRTEL & Etisalat paying as much as N1000 for 500 megabytes instead of the 1 gigabyte, 1.5 gigabytes or 2 gigabytes they currently get, depending on the network.
There could be charges for other telecom services in the country in order to meet the reported proposition by Godwin Emefiele, the Central Bank Governor, for a tax from mobile phone users in the country as part of efforts to address the economic recession.
Many subscribers who reacted to the issue via their twitter handles wondered why NCC would seek to bring more hardship on Nigerians who are battling to survive the economic recession. They called on Senate President, Bukola Saraki, to stop the draconian directive by NCC.
The Senate President in a short message on his Twitter handle has promised that the Senate would intervene.
Senator Shehu Sani was among those who condemned the planned increase. “At a time telecom companies are still making billions in profits despite the recession, increasing tariff on data services is simply about extorting more from the people for data after paying more for electricity,” Senator Sani wrote.
Henry Ezeanya wrote: “can you people kindly look into the NCC’s hike in data charges. Market force bringing prices down, but NCC wants it up..”
Seyi Benz: “they want to gag us by increasing tariff so we can’t come online n harangue them on bad governance. It’s a ploy.”
Judith Hanrankis : “sir, am a student that still manage to subscribe with 1500 for my assignments, pls I can’t afford this NCC new rate,do something”.
David Olar tweeted: “Pls #SaveOurSoul @bukolasaraki Call Tariffs should be cheaper @NgComCommission can not be acting a script of incompetent.”
Olumide: “still wondering how people in NIGauthority think, other countries: almost free wifi, Nigerian govt. data4d rich”.
Umar. S: “Pls sir, don’t let them hike it. Nigerians are already feeling the heat.”
Nwachukwu Ugochukwu: We trust you to act fast on this as usual. Thanks Mr President.
Kazzem Mossa Tijani: “Enough of these extortions. Salary is not increased. Salary is not regular and everything is just going up. What a country. It seems NCC is not experiencing recession. God save us from these heartless people.”
Olushola Olufolabi: “cheap cost of reliable communication enables good business, good business translates to good economy growth”
In a short reply to the numerous tweets, Saraki confirmed that the Senate will look into the data tariff increase. “Will do”, the Senate President said.