Why Minister ordered reduction in data subscription rates – Isa Pantami

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami has disclosed the reasons for the directive issued to the Board and Management of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); to resolve the issues of illegal data deduction and review downwards data subscription rates in the country within five days.

Pantami pointed out that there were numerous complaints from Nigerians regarding illegal data deduction and the high price of data. Additionally, he disclosed that he had personally experienced illegal data deduction.

Pantami gave the directive to the NCC on Tuesday, November 5, in Abuja.

He was speaking during the oath-taking ceremony of Barr. Adeleke Adewolu. Equally important, Adewolu is the new Board member and Executive Commissioner of the NCC.

Furthermore, the Minister charged the NCC to facilitate the penetration and expansion of 3G and 4G. Also, he urged the Commission to design a target for expansion of 3G and 4G by mobile operators in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, Pantami stated that government is aware of the challenges the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) experience in their businesses; citing issues such as vandalism and Right of Way (ROW).

According to him, “the way we pursue the mobile operators to do what is right;  we should also work together to protect their interest and resolve the challenges operators face.

“I commented last time on the issue over illegal data deduction.

“Please go sit down review that issue. It is very important. And I want to get feedback of that report in the next five working days because the complaints from Nigerians is beyond what I can handle as at today.

“People are complaining and it happened to me. I recharged my phone, my data line used it and I believed that what I used was not up to 20 per cent of what I purchased. So that is an issue that is very important to deal with.”

Pantami charged the new Commissioner, Adewolu to use his experience and support the board to fight corruption; adding that the success of the Ministry and NCC was the success of Nigeria.

He, however, said that the main agenda of NCC was to protect the interest of customers and the Ministry’s priority was to protect Nigerians.

He noted that the mandate of the Ministry had expanded towards improving the economy of the country through ICT hence, there was a need to work together for the progress of Nigeria.

“It is our collective responsibility to make sure we give 100 per cent support to Mr President to deliver his key mandate”.

The Minister commended NCC on the success recorded in the deactivation of unregistered Sim cards, 35 per cent broadband penetration and operators compliance in payment of fines as well as remittance of the amount to the government.

Ng daily

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