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Consumers differ on government’s claim of 50 percent data price reduction

Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy

*Several Nigerians claim they still purchase data at the same rate just as it is before

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

Following Minister for Communications and Digital Economy’s earlier statement claiming a significant reduction in the cost of data in Nigeria, some telecom consumers have disputed the Federal Government claim that it has reduced the Internet data price by 50 percent in 2020.

Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, in a recent statement said “based on the report by NCC, the average cost of N1,000 data as at November 2020 was N487.18, which amounts to 47.33% lower than the projected value” of N925 in the country.

The Minister stated that the NCC report “also indicates that the cost of data in November 2020 was less than 50% of the cost of data in January 2020.”

However, responses gathered from cross sections of Nigerians disagreed with the claim.

Consumers and readers reacted on Facebook and Twitter to Vanguard’s post on pot pourri with the caption “have you felt the impact of 50% data reduction?”

In relation to increase in data consumption charge in the country, some Nigerians claimed their data now finish faster than before.

Though some respondents to the poll agreed the cost of data reduced, yet they stated the consumption charge was also hiked by the telecom service providers to justify the reduction.

Ukamaka Maryrose Nwankwo, one of the respondents, said: “My two weeks’ data that finishes in 3 days. I don’t watch videos online and sometimes I avoid coming online but no way.

“Now, I don subscriber 1 month, I’m not sure this one will reach one week sef.”

Likewise Tochukwu Praise said: “Did you reduce cost? Do you explain the hike in charges when you reduced cost?

“True, the prices for data reduced, but the charge per kilobite charge increased as an effect.

“1GB that would last for a month initially, cannot take you for three days, who are you fooling.”

Nigerian Mobile Internet Consumers

Tony Ebi @TonyEbi555 on Twitter, one of the frontline social media platforms, said: “Data the networks will take back without usage, you cannot monitor them on that because you do not have what it takes.

As regards what some have termed “audio reduction”, respondents claimed they still purchase data at the same rate just as it is before.

Specifically, consumers have tagged the Minister’s assertion on Internet cost decrease to be “audio reduction”.

Mojekwu Uche was quoted to have jokingly responded to the question the paper posed online thus: “Please show me how to load Federal Government data.”

Brendan Gilbert Anuonye, another respondent, said: “Nope. It was audio as usual.” Whereas some others were reported to have directly used the word “lie” in their comments in reaction to the ministerial announcement.

A twitter user, Otaelo Smart @otaelosmart, said: “Not yet. Just like petrol which still sells at N166 per litre despite the announced reduction close to a week now.”

Insisting 1GB data still costs N1,000 in Nigeria, telecom consumers like OfficalWizzy @chuwkwuebuka, claimed the cost of 1GB remains N1,000.

Ebuka stated in his Twiyter comment: “Una need prayers.. I still dy buy data for 1k.”

Investigation yet revealed that many telecom network providers currently offer 3GB of data for as low as N500, but they noted that validity of such data is seven days.

Report says many Internet users in the country are more accustomed to subscribing monthly and always looking out for data plans with better deal and low consumption charge.

Kings Amasor, a Facebook user, also remarked: “We have not felt any change; instead, I subscribe for 2GB.

“I browsed for just one day, and now they are warning me that my data is almost finished….”

Meanwhile, it has been observed that the fast consumption of these users’ data might because of their browsing behaviour.

Activities such as streaming and downloads can significantly increase data consumption, report stated.

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