Shittu seeks understanding on planned data price increase by telecom firms
The Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu has called for understanding from Nigerians on the planned data price increase by telecommunication companies.
Shittu, who spoke with reporters in Ibadan yesterday said that decision on the planned increase in data price rested with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
He explained that the proposal on the increase dated back to 2013, but was suspended at the time. It had to be brought back now due to the economic recession.
The minister said that the reason for the increase was because the government had failed to provide basic infrastructure for the service providers.
“Government had promised to provide them adequate power supply and security, but all have not been put in place and they are spending a lot to provide these themselves. Also, the problem of right of way, as well as tax exemptions from government and demand from land grabbers are there too,” he said.
“When they approached the NCC that they wanted an increase in the data price, they did not consult us. I heard it like every other person.”
“As a government, however, we must weigh the interest of our citizens against that of the operators. If it becomes difficult for these companies to operate here, they could leave. So, we need to be considerate about their terms, which we failed to meet as a government and nation,” Shittu said.
The minister, therefore, appealed to Nigerians to come to terms with the fact that the companies are profit-making ventures, who have contributed in no small measure to the economy.