Minister calls for downward review of data price

Na'ankwat Dariem, Abuja

Communications Minister, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami

The Nigerian Minister of Communications has expressed displeasure over the prevailing high cost of data in Nigeria.

He says the citizens still do not enjoy value for money as subscribers’ battle daily with illegal deduction of data, poor Quality of Service (QoS) among others.

The directive followed a report from UK-based price comparison website Cable, Nigeria is not among the top 10 African countries with low average price of data.

Minister has also expressed worry considering the fact that the country has over 174 Million internet users according to the report made public by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

Dr. Isa Pantami therefore directed the Nigerian Communications Commission as a matter of urgency to immediately work hand in hand with the telecom operators to ensure a downward review of the price of data in Nigeria, improve quality of service and checkmate the illegal deduction of subscribers’ data by Mobile Network Operators(MNOs).

The Minister noted that the move is in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s directives to ensure that all agencies under the supervision of a ministry are effective, efficient and accountable in the discharge of their responsibilities.

Dr Pantami also reminded the NCC that as a regulator their major priority should be protecting the interest of Nigerians and urged them to uphold professionalism and diligence in the discharge of their official responsibilities.

Similarlly the Minister has tasked Galaxy Backbone plc to improve on operational efficiency.

According to Dr. Pantami Galaxy as government-owned Information Technology service provider should think out of the box, leverage on the advantage it has as a government-funded entity to deliver effective and efficient services to Nigerians, and in turn attract more revenue for the government

He reminded Galaxy that the Nigerian government invested in it to reap the dividend of its investment, consequently, the Minister Challenged Galaxy to ensure more Ministries (,) Department (and) Agencies (MDA) are patronizing it services, stressing that excuses would not be accepted or tolerated.

The Minister further urged Galaxy to work with the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) to expand its reach and take advantage of NITDA’s regulatory authority.

It would be recalled that early last month, the Minister directed Galaxy;

To improve the reach and coverage of its services in the public sector; and significantly improve the quality of services provided.

Dr Pantami also notified the Chief Executives that the scorecard of their performance on Short-Term Targets and new targets will be sent to them for implementation.

Pantami maintained that Nigeria as a nation can only grow if the citizens patronize what she produces and also produce what she needs