Data Cost to be Reduced – Minister of Communications
By Dipo Omoware
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, has said there is no going back on the order to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to ensure Network providers reduce the cost of data in the country.
Dr Pantami told state house correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the Presidential villa on Wednesday in Abuja that it was necessary to protect the interest of Nigerians who are paying so much for data compared to what is available across the African continent.
“We evaluated the price of data in all African countries and we discovered that there is need for us to make sure that the price is reduced. We will not allow our masses to be unjustly cheated.”
He also highlighted some of the issues faced by the telecom service providers operating in the country and said these were being addressed by government.
“The mobile network operators came to me with some complaints about certain things the government needs to do and we are still working.”
“The issue of vandalization of their facilities; the issue of right of way; classifying their facilities as part of critical infrastructure of the country and all these issues that they tabled before us, we are working with all federal public institutions that are involved to make sure that the environment is very comfortable for them to do their business.”
The NCC had earlier been ordered to enforce a directive compelling all service providers to put a stop to illegal deduction of subscribers’ data within five days.
The Minister also directed the board and the management of the NCC to immediately address some pending issues and expand the penetration of 3G and 4G networks across Nigeria.
Earlier during the FEC meeting, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had approved the contract for the completion of the Bida Sachi Paikoro road as well as the Nupeku-Patagi bridge across River Niger linking Niger and Kwara States at a cost of over 58billion naira.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola told journalists the project has a timeline of thirty months.
Additional report by Philip Nwelih.