Just when we thought the data hike brouhaha was over after the Senate suspended the proposed increament in data prices by the Nigerian Communication Commission, NCC, the commission have once again reiterated their position… they aren’t giving up just yet!
The Nigerian Communications Commission have once again stated like they did before now that the proposed hike in data tariff by telecommunication companies is meant to protect the interest of the subscribers and prevent monopoly.
The Deputy Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau of the NCC, Mr. Ismail Adedigba, said this in Osogbo on the sidelines of the 81st consumer outreach programme held in Osogbo.
He said the agency had not given up on the proposed data tariff increment, saying the NCC was working to protect the interest of Nigerians in order to prevent telecom giants from ripping them off at the end.
Adedigba explained that some telecoms giants could charge very low tariff just to prevent new entrants in the sector, adding that after warding off competition, they would hike their price astronomically and subscribers would be at their mercy.
The NCC boss said, “It is the NCC’s mandate to regulate activities in the industry, to protect the interest of subscribers. That is the reason behind the plan to increase data tariffs”.
“If we allow the operators to charge any price, some can charge very low prices and they will take all customers to their networks at the expense of new entrants.
“Nothing is free; once the consumers take the bait of rushing to the network offering cheaper tariff, competition will be eliminated. The effect is that once the big operators know that new entrants have been frustrated, they will increase their prices and the consumers will not have any choice because the new entrants have been crippled.
“At the end of the day, you would have predating prices and there will be no competition against the few ones left in the sector. So, we will continue to enlighten Nigerians.”
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The Director, Consumers Affairs of the NCC, Alhaji Abdulahi Maikano, had earlier in his address said the agency would not shirk its responsibility of protecting the interest of subscribers.
Maikano said, “Consumers must be protected and that is why the commission has developed series of initiatives with the main goal of empowering consumers with appropriate information that will ensure that their rights are not only protected but their choices provide them with value for money.”
Consumers, who aired their opinion at the meeting lamented the alleged fraudulent activities of major operators in the Telecommunications Industry, saying they’re being charged exorbitantly for services. Some also decried how they’re being bombarded and disturbed with unsolicited messages from certain network providers. Some also cited the poor quality of voice calls and data services offered by these providers as reasons why something must be done as quickly as possible by the NCC.
With these reasons given by NCC, will you support the data hike or not?