Pantami to NCC: Address high cost, illegal deductions of data

  • Urges other MDAs’ Chief Executives to improve operational efficiencies

 Web Editor | ConsumerConnect

In a report by UK-based price comparison Web site, Cable, Nigeria is not among the 10 top African countries with low average price of data.

Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, Honourable Minister for Communications and Digital Economy, is concerned about the report by a UK-based price comparison Web site, in which Nigeria is not among the 10 top African countries with low average price of data.

Yusuf Abubakar, Personal Assistant to the Honourable Minister (New Media), who said the Minister finds the uncomplimentary development worrisome, stated this in a recent statement.

Dr. Pantami’s reaction is in connection with the fact that the country has over 174million Internet users, according to the report published by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

Similarly, 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 against this backdrop that the Honourable Minister directed NCC, the nation’s telecom regulator, as a matter of urgency to immediately work hand in hand with the telecom operators.

It should also ensure there are a downward review of the price of data in Nigeria, improved quality of service provided, and checkmate the illegal deduction of subscribers’ data.

The Minister gave these marching orders shortly after the NCC briefed him on the progress made in the implementation of the Short-Term Performance targets set for it to achieve.

ConsumerConnect recalls that recently, the Minister had directed the Commission:

  • To bring to an end the issue of sales of pre-registered, unregistered and partially-registered SIM cards; and
  • To stem the tide of illegal deduction of the data of subscribers and work towards the downward review of the cost of data; and
  • To ensure compliance with the maximum 2% Call Drop Rate directive to telecom operators.

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

Dr. Pantami also reminded NCC that as a regulator of its major priority as protecting the interest of Nigerians, while urging them to uphold professionalism and diligence in the discharge of their official responsibilities.

The Commission also presented challenges of the operators which include vandalism of telecom infrastructure, inadequate power supply, right of way, hooliganism, and multiple taxations among others.

It took the opportunity to call for the swift intervention of the Minister to address the issues.

The Communications and Digital Economy Minister also directed Galaxy Backbone Plc, a government-owned Information Technology service provider to think out of the box, leverage the advantage it has as a government-funded entity to deliver effective and efficient services to Nigerians.

In turn, Pantami asserted that the company can attract more revenue for the government.

He specifically reminded Galaxy Backbone that the Nigerian government invested in it to reap the dividend of its investment.

Consequently, the Minister challenged Galaxy to ensure more Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) patronise its services, stressing that excuses would not be accepted or tolerated.

He further urged Galaxy to work hand in hand with the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) to expand its reach and take advantage of NITDA’s regulatory authority.

It would be recalled that not long ago, the Minister directed Galaxy:

  • To improve the reach and coverage of its services in the public sector; and
  • To significantly improve the quality of services provided.

Pantami also notified the Chief Executives that the scorecard of their performance on Short-Term Targets and new targets will be sent to them for implementation.

The Minister, who is a Next Level prime mover, maintained that Nigeria as a nation could only grow if the citizens patronise what it produces and also produce what she needs.

The Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy is a created to foster a knowledge-based economy and information society in Nigeria.

, it was conceived to facilitate ICT as a key tool in the transformation agenda for Nigeria in the areas of job creation, economic growth and transparency of governance.

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