As more reactions continue to trail the recent directive issued to service providers to slash data prices by 50 per cent, the Association of Telephone, Cable TV and Internet Subscribers of Nigeria (ATCIS), has commended the Federal Government of Nigeria for wading in their support at this crucial moment.
The Federal government announced on Thursday that the price of data has been reduced by more than 50 per cent following a directive that the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, should put in place measures to that effect. The Minister of Communications and digital economy, Dr Isa Ibrahim Pantami who broke the news, said it was in line with the directive he gave to the regulatory agency (NCC) to put measures in place to reduce the average cost of data in the country.
According to a statement released by the National President of ATCIS, Omoba Sina Bilesanmi, the Association commends the Nigerian government for heeding to the call of Nigerians and addressing this long-overdue issue that is already incapacitating Nigerians in their quest to fully utilizing the opportunities the digital space presents.
ATCIS has over the years been at the fore of campaigns calling the attention of relevant bodies to observed disparities in the service provided by the communication operators compared to value rendered to the Nigerian populace.
The subscribers’ association believes the Federal government’s move is long overdue as the service providers have overtime been ripping and milking millions of Nigeria through their frivolous rates unjustified by their inefficient services that oftentimes induce epileptic facility provision making smooth communication impossible.
Bilesanmi stated, “We commend the move by the government to reduce the price of data as we have been advocating for this since last year. On December 24, 2019, the ATCIS, led by its national president, Sina Bilesanmi, staged a protest against the high price of data. Now, the federal government has heeded our plea. The association, therefore, thank the federal government for supporting subscribers’ cry by slashing data price by 50 per cent,” the association said in a statement.
The association President lamented the pains Nigerians have had to bear considering the heavy charges they have been paying for the little data they use and he wondered why it had to take this long for the government to address this. He, therefore, ask the relevant desks to ensure implementation of the directive is fully adhered to.
He said, “Nigerians were paying for the operators’ inefficiency, poor facilities and systematic dilapidation of services that often necessitated epileptic service provision, thereby making smooth communication impossible.
“Despite this, our people are charged heavily for dropped calls, paying for services not enjoyed in the case of cable subscriptions and several other methods deployed to force their charges down our throats with no form of compensations,” Bilesanmi had lamented.
The Association had earlier threatened to stage a protest against high data prices and poor quality of services offered by network operators in the country as they criticized the service providers for refusing to slash prices of data in line with the directive from the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami.
Meanwhile, the subscribers’ association reiterated its support for the directive of the federal government compelling the telecommunications service providers to reduce the prices of data offered to subscribers in the country.