Telecommunications operators in Nigeria have described the directive issued by the Federal Government for the reduction in the cost of data in five days as “unrealistic and insensitive”.
Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Pantami gave the directive during a courtesy visit by the management NCC led by its Board Chairman Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye, to his office yesterday November 5th.
Reacting to the directive, the Chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) Gbenga Adebayo, said that the Federal Government’s directive was “dictatorial and could scare away investors from the country.”
Speaking in an interview with DailyTrust, Adebayo said: “I don’t know how the government is going to achieve that (data reduction) in five days. Have they put into consideration the high cost of operating our businesses and the very harsh operating environment we are in? Why are they trying to muzzle the NCC and stampede it into doing what is unrealistic? Do they know that operators don’t just sit down and fix tariffs.
They, with NCC, rely on so many things before coming up with tariffs. We do not know under what circumstances the directive was given, and to be honest with you, we don’t know how that is going to be achieved. We have said it several times that when policies interfere with commercial matters, the industry will be jeopardised. Government needs to be careful not to whittle down the powers of the regulator.
To arrive at prices NCC normally conducts survey and research, and after all that, it will benchmark the country’s tariffs based on what is obtained in other jurisdictions.”