The NCC has halted the proposed data hike and the Nigerian Senate is trying to take all the glory

by | Nov 30, 2016

A few hours ago, Bukola Saraki the Nigerian Senate President responded to a tweet by the Enough is Enough initiative that questioned the role of the law makers in the data hike.

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The original tweet questioned what the Nigerian Senate and the Senate president was doing about the proposed hike, to which Bukola Saraki responded that they were already working on it.

After the aforementioned tweet, the issue was raised during the plenary session that is still underway. Deputy Senate Leader Ibn N’Allah raised the motion.

There seemed to be a unanimous agreement on all fronts that the increase in data was not a wise move on the part of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

They even went ahead to call the move “the height of irresponsibility” by the NCC and how they needed to protect the citizens that voted them to power.

After the deliberations, the Senate decided to halt approval of the new proposed data price hike.

Reservations

It is joyous news that we can keep buying data at the old prices; halting the proposed tariff hike was a laudable move from the Nigerian senate, but it is still not looking right.

Amidst all the batterings that senate has been getting for its archaic and redundant bills and stance on matters relating to technology, calling out the NCC seems to be more of a ploy to salvage its image than a genuine concern for the Nigerian subscribers.

Suggested Read; Why the Nigerian Senate should be cautious of ‘regulating’ eCommerce

Everybody deserves a second chance at redemption, but before we do a victory dance, it is important to note that the same Senator Ibn N’Allah that moved this motion is the major proponent of the Social Media gag bill that nearly brought Nigerian internet to its knees.

Senator Ibn N'Allah

Senator Ibn N’Allah

The Nigerian Communications Commission(NCC) is a government parastatal and its actions are supposed to be in consonance with the other arms of the government. So it is unacceptable when the Nigerian Senate comes to make them fall guys in a bid to come out looking fine.

Meanwhile the NCC  has just released an official statement to state their stance on the issue;

Before the new suspended price floor of N0.90k/MB, the industry average for  dominant operators including MTN Nigeria Communications Limited, EMTS  Limited (Etisalat) and Airtel Nigeria Limited was N0.53k/MB.  Etisalat offered (N0.94k/MB), Airtel (N0.52k/MB), MTN (N0.45k/MB) and Globacom (N0.21k/MB).

The smaller operators/ new entrants charge the following: Smile  Communications N0.84k/MB, Spectranet N0.58k/MB and NATCOMS (NTEL)  N0.72k/MB.  The NCC as a responsive agency of government takes into consideration the  feelings of the consumers and so decided to suspend the new price floor.

It is unclear if the this retraction is a function of the directive by the Nigerian or not as part of the press release reads;

The decision to suspend this directive was taken after due consultation with  industry stakeholders and the general complaints by Consumers across the  country

And it is still very doubtful if the Nigerian Senate can “order” the Nigerian Communication Commission to halt anything. It looked like the Senate probably got a wind of the new NCC direction and played off the ignorance of the masses to look like our knights in shining armour.

Even though we all appreciate the well thought out move by the senate, we still are not impressed.

tech. media. startups. africa. vc | Twitter: @victor_ekwealor

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