NCC Here's why Nigerians will soon pay more for data

Telecom subscribers will soon be paying more for data services, according to plans leaked to Pulse by stakeholders

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Communications Minister Adebayo Shittu play

Communications Minister Adebayo Shittu

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Users of data services – individuals and businesses – across all the networks will soon have to pay more for data.

This follows the introduction of a new price floor for data services by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Pulse has been exclusively informed by telecom operators doing business in Nigeria.

Two weeks ago, Central Bank of Nigeria Governor (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, proposed a tax on phone calls above three minutes, as a way of getting Nigeria out of economic recession.

According to Emefiele, a tax on phone calls will yield some N100B to the treasury.

A source in one of the telecom services told Pulse on the basis of anonymity that "under the new data price regime, the NCC has directed all telecom operators in the country to review their current data prices to align with the new price floor and implement same by the 1st of December 2016, while defaulters risk having sanctions imposed on them". 

In letters addressed to all network operators, the NCC stated that it decided to introduce the data price floor as a strategy to stabilize the industry, improve quality of service and ensure that customers get value for their money.

But there's been resistance from stakeholders.

Indications from industry stakeholders is that the new data price floor would affect all data packages in the market .

All the current data prices in the market fall below the new price floor, meaning telecoms subscribers should expect an increase in the price of data on their network. 

A cross section of industry stakeholders have also expressed displeasure over the new price floor introduced by NCC, arguing that it will increase the cost of doing business especially for Small and Medium scale Enterprises (SMEs) and other sectors whose operations depend on data.  

Communications Minister Adebayo Shittu was yet to provide a response to this story at the time of heading to press.