Senate Orders NCC To Halt Data Tariff Increase, Minister Dissociates FG Fom Directive

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The Senate has ordered NCC to halt its plans to increase data tariff across all networks and condemned the planned move “in all totality.”

Following a motion raised by the Deputy Senate Leader Ibn N’Allah on Wednesday, the Senate mandated its Committee on Communications to carry out thorough oversight on the process to ensure that Nigerians are carried along in the process.

It also mandated the committee to investigate the allegations of failure of the service providers, adding that it should ensure that Nigerians are not short changed.

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NCC had ordered all networks to increase its data bundle tariff, effective from Thursday, December 1st, 2016.

Similarly, Senator Ben Murray-Bruce in a Facebook post on Wednesday, pledged to fight against the proposed data increase in the Senate.

Senator Bruce opined that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), as a regulator, should direct GSM firms to reduce and not increase tariffs.

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Moreover, Nigeria’s Minister of Communication, Mr. Adebayo Shittu, has disclosed that the Federal Government never gave any directive to telecommunications operators in the country to increase prices of data.

Network providers claimed they were ordered by the telecoms regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), to raise data tariffs.

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Speaking however on a radio programme on Wednesday, the Minister said he was never consulted before the announcement was made. He stressed that government did not authorize the operators to raise the tariffs.

Shittu assured Nigerians that government would look into the matter and continue to protect the interests of the masses. Hear him;

“I can tell you that I was never a party to it (data tariff hike). Government never gave any such instruction. This government believes in democratic process and we would continue to protect the interest of Nigerians. I can assure you we would do that (protect interest of Nigerians).”

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Mr. Shittu further promised to take steps to stop the issue of subscribers still getting unsolicited messages from operators.