The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has suspended its directive to major Nigerian telecommunication operators to hike the price of data subscriptions on December 1.
The NCC’s decision to suspend the planned hike in data tariff may not be unconnected to the condemnation it received from the Nigerian Senate on Wednesday.
Senate President, Bukola Saraki, in a statement made available to newsmen, assured Nigerians of Senate’s commitment to ensure affordable internet access in the country.
“Today, the Senate condemned the proposed increase of data tariffs by Service Providers, in line with the directive of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).”
“We strongly believe that we must protect the Nigerian people that sent us to Abuja to represent their interests from the height of the irresponsible plan that has been put forward by the NCC.”
“At a time when the cost of living has gone up for all Nigerians, due to inflation being at 18.3%, the NCC’s actions have implicitly mandated the service providers to increase their costs to maintain their profits. This is unacceptable.”
“I have seen the power of the internet — and how it serves to give a voice to the voiceless, and a platform for millions to air their views. This is why the Senate will continue to maintain that access to the internet remains affordable for all Nigerians.”
“On this note, the Senate has resolved to: – Halt the new tariff proposal by the NCC; – Mandate the Senate Committee on Communications to conduct thorough oversight on the process that brought it about; and – Ensure that Nigerians are always carried along when such processes are considered,” the statement read.