Nigeria: Data Cost Reduction - NCC Writes to Pantami Over Ultimatum

11 November 2019

The Nigerian Communications Commission [NCC] has written to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami over the five day ultimatum issued by the Federal Government on stoppage of "data depletion" and reduction of data cost.

Dr Pantami had, on November 5, directed the NCC to force the operators to reduce the cost of data and stop illegal data depletion in five days.

But the operators said the directive was insensitive and dictatorial and one that would be difficult to enforce.

However, in a letter from the NCC's Executive Vice Chairman (EVC), received by the office of the Minister on the 8th of November 2019, the telecommunications regulator, told Dr Pantami of the strategies being taken to stem the tide of short changing subscribers by Mobile Network Operators.

The Commission had informed the Minister that it had issued a directive to all Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) on the attendant penalties associated with Automatic Renewal and Forceful Subscription to Data and Value Added Services.

The penalties include considerable financial sanctions on the erring operator, it said.

The letter also stated that the Commission reviewed the Nigerian Communications Act of 2003 on its rule-making powers and process.

The Commission is in the process of carrying out a study on the End-of-Session Notification for Data Services and depending on the outcome, may issue a direction in accordance with the Act, the letter added.

Dr Pantami has granted an extension with the understanding that the Commission will resolve these issues within the shortest time possible.

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