The Senate has said the decision by the NCC to hike data tariff in Nigeria is the height of irresponsibility.
The Senate on Wednesday ordered the National Communication Commission to stop its planned data tariff hike as it called the decision the height of irresponsibility by the agency.
This was the decision taken at plenary today by the lawmakers after Deputy Senate Leader Ibn N’Allah raised a motion on the increase in data tariffs by the telecomms over policies of the NCC.
While condemning the decision in totality, the Senate President Bukola Saraki, resolved to halt the new tarrif approval by NCC and ordered its Committtee on Communications to carry out an investigation into the proposed plan in order to “protect the people that brought us here this is the height of irresponsibility by NCC”.
Saraki added that “at this time without any consultation from the statistics, it is almost four times the price.”
He said that the committee should also investigate the allegations of failure of the service providers so as not drag Nigerians into more suffering.
It would be recalled that the NCC had directed mobile operators to initiate a new data tariff regime from December 1, 2016 in what is effectively a price increase.
This was contained in a letter to mobile operators dated November 1, the regulator stated that the interim floor price for data services was 0.90k/MB for big operators, and that “this rate will subsist pending the finalisation of the study on the determination of cost based pricing for retail broadband and data services in Nigeria.
“In order to provide a level playing field for all operators in the industry, small operators and new entrants to acquire market share and operate profitably small operators and new entrants are hereby exempted for the price floor for data services,” it said.
“For the avoidance of doubt a small operator is one that has less than 7.5 percent market share and a new entrant is an operator that has operated less than three years in the market.
“All operators are to ensure that subscribers are not automatically migrated to pay-as-you-go platform.
“Also, note that effective date for the interim price floor is December 1, 2016.” the letter added.